The Story of Us

The Story of Us

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

WOW

oh Wow, I just looked at the last time I posted and it says Dec. 3. Wow I can't believe it really has been that long. These past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind and I honestly don't know where this Christmas season has gone! I will try to recap the month of December as best as I can. So starting with the first week in December, my first weekend back from Vegas. Ben was still recovering from who knows what and so as fas I can remember (since it was awhile ago) I think I just laid low. My parents and Grandma was supposed to come up, but that didn't work out. I went home on Sunday, December 6th for my Nutcracker rehearsal. I decided to volunteer myself once again for the Nutcracker, which don't ask me why on earth I did, because I honestly can not tell you! Oh Goodness, Nutcracker ended up being the weekend of the 12th and two shows and I completely wore myself out with training for it and as old as I am now, my body could definitely not handle it :( I was so upset but with my back/neck and just overdoing my practicing for it, my body gave out. Seriously so painful I can't even begin to describe it. So I had to cut back on all that I was doing. It just wasn't worth it to mess up during the show or kill myself for it. I just wanted to so bad do it one more time, and now I know that was definitely the last time. I am way too old for it now :( After that I got a horrible cold and was so miserable for a few days. But on the upside I am still very happy I did it. It's definitely a story to tell.
So the next weekend the 19th and 20th of December, was my family Christmas with my cousins and my brother and Bre and niece Rylie came up from Chicago. Ben and I drove to Rockford Saturday morning for my first gymnastics meet of the season then drove on home and had dinner and opened presents with Grandma and my mom and dad and brother and his family. I got Rylie a little kids camera (shes 2 1/2) which was the ideal present coming from me, and she loved walking around taking pictures of everybody! I got the movies Australia and the Dark Knight from my brother and also the last of the Harry Potter books I was missing. Sunday morning we went to Church as a family and took some family pictures, then prepared food for my cousins and Aunt and Uncle who all came over in the afternoon. A wonderful day of fellowship and fun times watching the little ones (now Rylie and my cousins two lil boys) all play together. Ooooh I almost forgot! Ben and I also received Battleship from my brother and Bre and so we played that as well! I also made him sit through a few old school home videos of Christmas time haha. Who remembers Angels Aware! or the Don't Be Afraid Brigade! ? Fun times seeing everyone be that little again :)
On Monday we went out and got my mom a new phone and surprise! I was up for renewal so I upgraded my phone as well! Yeah! I just upgraded from the Envy2 to the Envy3, but I like the new change alot. Then as it was Grandmas birthday we headed to Finley's for a free birthday dinner and then had some Key Lime Pie and opened gifts after.
So then here we are at Christmas Eve and I worked in the morning then went with Ben and his family to the Christmas Eve service at their church. I just have to say it was lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed it, lots of singing and readings and very simple and I loved singing Silent Night with all our candles lit. It really was a lovely service and I am so glad I went. Christmas morning, Ben came and woke me up and we sat down under our tree for a few minutes and each opened one gift with Reggie, then headed over to his parents house. We watched the kids open a gazillion presents each. Literally. Then the older ones exchanged a few. I received an ornament I saw at Bronners in Frankenmuth (my favorite one there!) and also his sweet mother made me a quilt! A handmade quilt! I can't even begin to tell you how truly astonished by this I was. I mean of course I knew she made quilts and was amazing at it, but I never thought that she would make one for me. She had been working on it for quite some time I guess, but I just can't get over how truly wonderful it was and I am still shocked and it is absolutely beautiful and I will cherish it forever :) I am truly grateful for such a wonderful second family and am so blessed with how amazing his parents are.
After presents we had Christmas Dinner with his cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. Now at this point, let me tell you another little story. So Ben's mom got extremely sick on Christmas Eve (like flu all out) and so she didn't attend the Christmas Eve service. At about Midnight his sister Elizabeth was out on the paper route and had to call the boys to come get her because she was so sick (same symptoms). So after presents and before dinner, Ben's dad suddenly started throwing up as well. (Now his mom and sister were feeling better so it seemed to be 24 hour). So now thats 3 people out who weren't feeling good. So I started helping Ben's mom prepare some food and I cut up all the fruit and made fruit salad and then sliced the bananas and put them in the pies and added the filling to the banana creme pies. I was glad I got to help out in someway. So after dinner we are all sitting around and I am totally not feeling good but I try to fight it as much as I can but it got to the point where I was like crying and told Ben and so i literally grabbed my stuff and just left. I felt so bad for basically just bolting out on his family and not saying bye to anyone but good thing I left because I barely made it my front door of my own house and I started throwing up. Ben came over right away, thank goodness, because I can't even remember the last time I was this sick. Sure I have vomited from time to time. But this was sooo bad I wish I was dead. Literally, not exaggerating, I threw up from 9:00 at night to 6:00 the next morning, literally every half hour. It was like my body had an internal clock and as soon as I'd relax from one bout and start to drift back off to sleep, it would wake me up and I'd rush to the bathroom again. So so so exhausting. I seriously wanted to die from the pain. It was so bad. So that took up my Saturday just recovering from that. And well basically all of Sunday too. Ben just sat with me on the couch and watched movies while I moaned from all the pain and tried to hold down even water :( He was so amazing and so good to me and now we have passed the point where we are both beyond sick and we have stuck through it and both sat there and took care of eachother. I am eternally grateful for the blessings I have been given because of Him and the amazing way he treats me.
Monday even though I was still in a weakened state, Ben helped me and we drove my parents down to Chicago and brought my brothers dog Keane back to them. Also my dad is staying down there for a few days to help my brother out with a big job. So Ben, my mom and I went and ate at Ed Debevics where Ben got pissed off because they were so rude, even though we explained before hand that that is the point of the restaurant. The waiters are supposed to be rude to you! Probably didn't help that it was a guy waiter ha and he probably would handle a girl being rude to him than a guy. It was funny though. Then we took a stroll down the Mag Mile and saw all the Christmas lights and went window shopping and looked at Macy's and everything. It was beautiful. Very cold, but festive.
Now back at work for a few days and then tomorrow night is Marissa's Bachelorette party and New Year's Eve and then this weekend is full of family and friends and weddings! It will be a wonderful weekend! Can't wait to hang out with Deb at Maranatha and the wedding and my family is coming up tomorrow so Ben and I can finally celebrate our own Christmas with my parents and grandma. Yes we still haven't done that! So I promise it won't be as long in between till my next post as this last one. So much has happened this month and I have been super busy and relentlessly and consistently sick :( Hopefully the new year will bring me health!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Meet Liz and John

You know how I love outdoor weddings and this was just another one of those breathtaking locations. With horses, fences, barns, fields and lots and lots of lush gardens with beautiful flowers. Plus it always helps with such a good looking, adorable couple such as John and Liz who brought me to tears many times during the ceremony and moments when they were so wrapped up in eachother. The way that you could tell God was first in their lives and how everything they did throughout the day was devoted to Him. You couldn't ask for a better event than this. Thanks you two!






















Las Vegas Pics

I will post some sweet Las Vegas Pics that I took from my photographers point of view of the city, once I get around to editing them. I seem to be overwhelmed already with work and not feeling well and so much else to do that it may take me a few days to work on those. But I will post them so check back!

Las Vegas Day 6 & 7

Well I know I said yesterday was our last day but it ended up being pushed back another day. I also said we had lots of exciting things to do on our next day before the plane ride, but we had some setbacks. Ben started getting sooo sick in the middle of the night on Sunday... and continued all day Monday. Like extremely sick, I was so worried and he would just lay there and I couldn't do anything to help him :( So after much dilemma we dleayed hte flight because he hadn't got out of bed all day and the times he did stand up he threw up right away so not a good idea to stick him on a plane. Poor Boy, he was soo excited to do the stuff we saved till the last day, like the rollercoaster and the Mirage white tigers and souvenir shopping and we didn't get to do anything :( I felt so bad and helpless. It definitely did help our relationship though. When it gets to that point where someone is so sick and you know you'd do anything to help them and stick by them, it's a positive thing. So we got in early yesterday (wednesday) morning and then had to drive to Jackson, unload, get a lil sleep and then drive up here to Muskegon, so still another long day and we are very work out and still not feeling well.
Can't believe it is December and it is jam packed for some reason. SO much to do and so little time, before we know it it will be Christmas day!
Today was the first sign with the first snowfall that we've seen! (We heard it snowed while we were gone, but we didn't see it!) Ben was so excited to see the snow flurries cuz he loves winter :) It means snowboarding!

Las Vegas Day 5 (Horseback riding)

Sunday, Nov. 29th.
Our last full day here in Vegas ☹ I’m not ready to go yet, because there is still sooo much that I haven’t shown Ben! We have only made it half way down the strip! Today was a really awesome day though. This morning we got up and went across the street to the Outlet Mall and picked up a few things. Then Ben and I rushed back to the resort to pick up our shuttle to take us 45 minutes southwest of Vegas to Sandy Valley, California, where we spent the evening at Sandy Valley Ranch and did some horseback riding and cattle herding ☺ It was a breathtaking view down in the valley because the mountains were just surrounding us everywhere we looked, and with the sunset and a clear sky we couldn’t of asked for a better day! There were only 5 of us riding so it was a small group and we kinda got a little more freedom then I was expecting, my horse was named Wayland and he loved being the leader and would always trot up to the front and I’d circle around to the middle or back and have him start all over again. I kept turning him around so I could ride next to Ben ☺ He was on a old stubborn lady named Shany or something like that. We then went into the corral and tried herding the baby cows. Haha We weren’t very good and then had a big steak dinner with apple pie in the ranch house. It was an awesome night! We didn't get a lot of pics because we were on horseback and when we got back it was too dark to take good pics. When we got back to the resort we picked up my parents and went back downtown to the Bellagio and Paris. I love Paris it is one of my favorites with the Eiffel tower and all the little French streets inside it, its just so cute. Tomorrow is our last day, I am sad. We have a lot to cram into tomorrow. We still haven’t rode the roller coaster or gone to the Venetian or Treasure Island and I definitely want to make it to the Mirage to go to the tiger and dolphin exhibit. So we’ll see how it goes!



The view where we went riding at (mountains + sunset = AMAZING)



Wayland and I





Ben and his lil old lady haha



Las Vegas Day 4 (old las vegas)

Saturday, Nov. 28th.
Today we woke up and headed downtown for a little while. We went back to New York New York and then crossed over to MGM Grand and went and checked out the CSI interactive crime scene, and the lion exhibit where we got there just in time to see the lions feeding. There was a female and a male in there. We walked out and down the street into the big M&M and Coca-Cola stores. When we were crossing back over the street I tripped in the middle of the intersection and now everyone can’t get over it and keeps bringing it up!!! We came back to the resort and went down to the pool for a little bit until it got cold and then went in the hot tub. For the evening we went to downtown Freemont into old Las Vegas. They have the fantastic light show there is on the ceiling, even though its outside. Hard to describe. It’s like a big canopy over the street, but its all little lights. We also caught a short Magic Show and just walked into shops and stuff. Ohoooooh yeah and we tried fried twinkies and oreos!! The fried twinkies were sooooo good! After Freemont Ben and I headed back down to the strip again, we headed to the Bellagio to watch the fountains (I made Ben watch Ocean’s 11 before we left just for that reason) and we walked around in the fancy shops and then over to Ceasars Palace another fancy hotel and we both liked all the roman statues and trying to guess which ones they were! We just walked down the strip a little more and ended up catching the fountains 3 times! Their so big and good I didn’t mind at all!
I can’t wait for tomorrow and our sunset horse back rides!!!!!!!



Bellagio Fountains (Love this pic)




Ben at the CSI expierence



So not happy about this picture



goofing around in NY NY




Fried Twinkies!!


Downtown Freemont and the lighted overhang thing



Las Vegas Day 3 (Red Rock Canyon)

Friday, Nov. 27th.

Today we got up and drove out the red rock canyon. We stopped first at an overlook and it was Bens first chance to get out and look at the surrounding mountains. We hiked down a small little trail down the side of the overlook because Ben grabbed my hand and said “oooh come here” and I said “what, where we going?” “just come here, I think I saw an animal!” so we hiked down a little bit but haha no animal! Next we drove past the Red Rock Canyon National Park but it was completely lined up! The cars were piled up waiting to get into the scenic loop, so we kept going and pulled off at the Spring Mountain Ranch which apparently is where Howard Hughes used to own. And there is a natural spring right there in the mountains. Ben loved watching the different ducks swim around on the lake and they kept diving under water he called them dolphin ducks!
Next onto Bonnie Springs, where I went the first time I was here and it is a little cowboy town and so I wanted to take him back there. There are two parts to Bonnie Springs, first we went into the little town where there is a general store and bank and mine and just little shops. We headed straight up to the saloon for a melodrama little cowboy play then out into the courtyard for a old school shooting and hanging. I got called up to take part as a judge in the hanging! Then we went to the second part of Bonnie Springs, which is a petting zoo! Which of course we loved! There were emus, hogs, lynxes, peacocks, deer, rabbits, long horn bull, horses, sika deer which ben was so excited to see, he said he thought hed never see one of those in hi life. I loved petting and feeding the deer and one of them was so shy, her name was Moon and she had a big tumor on her face but she was still adorable and scared to death until I got some food and then she warmed right up to me. After done there we drove back to the scenic loop, it was 13 miles all through the red rocks. Didn’t see any animals though ☹
So we came back and were exhausted so I decided to take a nap for like an hour till like 8. But I woke up and was so tired that I just went right back to bed.




Ben's first look at the mountains up close








at the little spring in the mountains



wild donkeys that would stick their heads in the car to get food!






haha



those make me laugh!



HELP ME!




I really like this picture :) with the mountains behind us



Turtle Top Mountain

Las Vegas Day 1 & 2

November 25th & 26th


Happy Thanksgiving!! I am here in Las Vegas! I am writing this today even though I we got here yesterday, this is the first I have been on the computer.
I am here for maybe like the 4th year in a row, not at home for Thanksgiving, its getting to the point where I am used to not being home for holidays anymore. My parents and I have been traveling somewhere for Thanksgiving and Christmas for maybe 4 or 5 years now. I actually enjoy it. I know its not traditional, but I definitely had that the whole time growing up and I will have it in the future with my own family. So it is nice to be able to spend some years being able to travel and experience new things, I have always wanted and will always want to travel in the future. I love racking up new States I have visited and although I have only been to Mexico and the Caribbean as far as international go. There are so many places around the world that I have such a strong desire to visit and see the unique cultures. The thing different about this trip is that Ben is with my parents and I this time. I am sooo excited that he is here with me! This trip was his first time flying ever! I couldn’t believe it, but it was so cute being able to watch his nose glued the windowpane on the plane the whole flight basically. It was a good first flight I think because it was dark when we left (so you get to see all the night lights) and then we were able to watch the sunrise from above the clouds and all the colors emerge, then when we landed in Vegas it was bright and sunny! Once we dropped below the clouds it was all desert, rock mountains and Ben couldn’t take his eyes off all the rock and the little rivers and passing over the Colorado River which is huge was so cool.
As for the first day we basically just settled in and relaxed and napped for a long time in our condo. With only getting 3 hours of sleep plus being jetlagged from the 3 hour time difference, it was definitely a not do much at all day. Last night we did head out for like an hour and a half, we just went to the first 3 hotels on our south end if the strip. The Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Excalibur. I think they are some of the less interesting hotels on the strip so it was kinda good to hit them up first, so Ben gets more excited as we go to more! The Mandalay Bay is a really fancy one the only cool thing was the giant x-mas tree and Ben liked that they had a giant fish aquarium in the lobby ☺ Then took the monorail to the Luxor which is the huge Pymarid, and inside theres a bunch of sphinx’s and a little Egyptian town built with pharaohs and hieroglyphic stuff. I think Ben thought that one was the coolest so far. The next we went into Excalibur, which is a medieval castle type hotel. And out front you walk across the drawbridge and inside is like castle walls.
So that was it for the first day. Probably just some more relaxing today, maybe go in the pool and then a big Thanksgiving Dinner and some more hotels today and tomorrow. Just walk down the strip since we haven’t done that yet.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!





First pic on the plane at like 6 am!



Yeah we are a lil tired!


Couldn't stop staring at the planes :)



Sunrise over the clouds :)



Still staring out the window when I woke up a few hours later :)



At the Luxor, with the sphinxes and pyramids



Outside Mandalay Bay



The Big aquarium inside the Mandalay Bay Lobby



So at the end of thanksgiving day a lot happened. We sat down by the pool for a while, it was such a nice day. I was sitting there and sweating it was so hot. So I finally got Ben to go into the pool with me after much persuading, and it was a lot of fun! We played in there for a long time. Then we all got ready and went out for a big Thanksgiving Dinner and stuffed ourselves and headed into the Hard Rock CafĂ© and Casino to walk around for a bit. My parents and I never made it there last time so it was a new place for us to go. Then Ben and I walked around downtown for a little bit and went to NEW YORK NEW YORK! It was Bens favorite so far because it is lined with quaint little streets like downtown NY and there is a huge rollercoaster! There is also a big harley store and the Coyote Ugly Bar and a magicians store that we had to stop in and look at all the magic tricks and watch a magician perform. Ben is fascinated with magic and figuring it all out so he liked that store. We also went into Monte Carlo but there isn’t much there.