Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chicago! Part Three

Inside a cool cafe downtown

This trip was actually my first time riding in a taxi. I don't know how I have managed so long without ever riding in one! Instead of taking your car places and dealing with the crazy traffic only then to end up paying $20.00 for valet parking, it's much simpler to catch a cab for $7.00. Not to mention the crazy cab drivers you meet! That's worth the price itself! (Daniel and I may have differing opinions on this one ;)

Night time means dinner time!

Our hotel

This is the dress Daniel bought me for Christmas! (early :)

He knows me so well :) Aside from about $100,000 worth of things for his Jeep, he much prefers, always wants, practical gifts. I, on the other hand like pretty things! Now, don't get me wrong, I have been known to ask for measuring cups, a vacuum or even diapers as gifts (for the girls, not me!) but I really do love lovely things. I didn't need a new dress, but was very happy and every so thankful to have one! I really truly do have the kindest and most understanding husband in the world!

This was taken as we were getting ready for dinner. I had to leave the restaurant before my food came because I was feeling so horrible, but it was a beautiful evening! Especially now that I look back and feel fine :)

Honestly, it was almost better that I got sick while away, because I was able to spend more time sleeping than I have in a very long time, so that was a blessing. I was very thankful to come home to the girls though.

We were all sick for a good solid week together, and coming home was just the start of it. Being away for a few days gave me the physical and emotional break I needed to help the girls though their sickness 24/7 for a week. I was very thankful that God had His hand in the timing of it all and that my dad needed Daniel down there for that week. I'm so thankful for such a loving and kind God! He takes care of all our needs and all we need to do is acknowledge Him and Honor and Praise Him. I can truly say with experience, what a mighty God we Serve!

Really, who else cares so much about a normal little old housewife who has little children to take care of, a house to clean and family to serve? Sometimes I feel so lonely, overwhelmed and over tired. Even with such a wonderful husband and great kids, life can just seem so big and I feel so small. It's in those moments that God scoops me up in His loving arms and shows me He cares enough to give me what I need. Whether it's just a good day, a kind word from a friend or a little time away... He knows my needs! Even before I do!

Wow... I just still can't get over what a mighty God we serve!

This last photo was one Daniel took of the girls and I about 3 hours after we back home. It was mixture of sickness, tiredness and thankfulness to all be together again. There is nothing like being back in your home with your family :)

Chicago! Part Two

View from our window

This was taken while Daniel was at work.... :)
From Holidays
One of my favorite images, through the peep hole.

Once Daniel and my dad got back we went for a little walk. I almost didn't go because I started feeling pretty sick at this point (in fact, I immediately threw up after coming back, but I'll spare you from any more details, lol ) The only reason I feel I have to mention how sick I was is because of my utter disappointment of not getting more photo opportunities and missing out at a quick window shopping stop into Tiffany & Co, Macy's, ect...

But the walk was delightful and chilly anyway!

This is part of the Tribune Tower, it was so cool. There are pieces of buildings and land from all over the world covering the building. There were actual parts of the Great Wall of China, The Alamo, Numerous castles, the World Trade Center, the Colosseum, the Pyramids, a piece of rock from Abraham Lincoln's Tomb, The Taj Mahal, the Berlin wall and there was even a piece of moon rock on display in one of the windows recently! That had to be one of my favorite places. It not only was interesting and covered in history (literally!) but the architecture was stunning.

I love the modern but woodsy look of the white birch bark against the green. Simple and stunning!

The only store we walked into. Burberry! I have always planned to get a scarf from them... one of these days perhaps. (considering I could get a new camera lens for the same price! Which I would much rather do) I just really love the simple, sophisticated and timeless look of the Burberry style. One simple shirt that I picked up had a price tag of $495.00 hhmmm.. just a *wee* bit out of my price range. (and I'm a clear thinking adult ;)

Chicago! Part One

So, I have put off writing this post due to the fact that I never have time to write a nice, well though out blog post. But, seeing as I have about 20 blog posts in my head I have decided to go ahead and just start. Instead of telling a story in words, I'll just let the photos due the majority of the talking for me. (I could write multiple posts just on my love of photography and the mixture of art and truth!) Carrying on...... :)

My husband (the amazing and talented Daniel!) is one of only two quality assurance guys at his company. (The other being the Vice President, who also happens to be my dad) Long story short, my dad often has to go to Chicago to work at the second plant and work has been so crazy that Daniel had to go with him! Since they have to be there so early dad will sometimes go the night before (depending on how much work he has to do) and stay in a hotel. Mom will occasionally go with him and they make sort of a "mini trip" of it. This time, since Daniel had to go along, I went too! My wonderful sisters stayed home with da babies and I got to spend some time in the Windy City. (Due to a horrid stomach bug I ended up being in bed over half the time, but ended up getting to take my camera along for some fun anyway:)

From Holidays

From Holidays

Note: the below photos of the dancers were not taken by me, but from the performance by someone else and found on a google search. :)

From Holidays

From Holidays

From Holidays

We then stopped after the performance for some Pinkberry frozen Yogurt... nummy!

From Holidays

From Holidays

From Holidays

From Holidays

From Holidays

From Holidays

Early Christmas gift from my dad :)
From Holidays

Early Christmas gift from my mom and dad... a kindle fire!!!

From Holidays

From Holidays

Wow, can you tell how tired we looked? We were up at 4:00am and didn't go to bed until midnight! Us crazy people ;)

From Holidays

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Shopping Post!

I don't know why I enjoy grocery shopping so much, I guess I just enjoy getting out early in the morning before most other shoppers are out and reveling in the quite peacefulness of something that is normally kind of a headache. This last time I went shopping I brought my camera. I didn't have anything specific I planned on shooting, but you never know what you're going to come across! Have you ever watched those documentaries about big foot or U.F.Os and there is "real" camera footage of random flying saucers or the yeti and someone just happens to have their camera with them? Well that will totally be me! There will photographic evidence of Elvis at the gas station and someone will wonder who on earth will just have happened to have their camera when Elvis came out of hiding and THAT PERSON WILL BE MEEEEE!(For example, I saw Abraham Lincoln at Walmart. Do you believe me? Probably not, but if I would have had my camera on me....) Ok, I sound like a crazy person. :) I don't believe Elvis is around or anything, I'm just saying I like to be prepared for the unusual or eventful. :)

Actually, something unusual did happen! Shopping took much longer than I had anticipated, so I ended up picking up lunch for the girls from Mc Donalds. OK, that's not the unusual part, well, I mean it is, but that's not what I was thinking.

They actually fell asleep and I found myself with a few minutes of peaceful quietness!

I was on my home and decided to take the "long" way. The Harbor Downtown is only about 2 miles from our apartment, so I made way through town before going home.

The pretty but empty harbor....

The old art deco style lighthouse, which I always have kinda liked despite not being one of those awesome old style light houses so filled with character. Nontraditional and something neat and different...


I accidentally took this picture but think it's neat anyway :)

The fruits of my labour :)

Unloading was a little different this time. Aside from taking me an hour, I had to scan every single item I purchased. Although it's already a little bit more work than I anticipated, I'm really enjoying being a part of the Nielsen National Consumer Panel. I always wondered where they got "consumer information" from. Well, I am totally "one of those" consumers! I know it sounds lame, but it's kinda neat.

They send you a scanner, information booklet, and a list of barcodes. What you do is scan every purchase you make, tell them what store you shopped at and how you paid. The barcode sheet is for items you buy that you won't have a barcode for. Things like gas, going out to eat, fresh fruits and veggies, ect...

Sometimes the prices automatically come up on the screen when you scan then, but sometimes you have to manually enter them. Unfortunately for me, all the stores that I did most of my shopping at I had to look through the receipt to enter the price in.

Once you have finished entering everything in, you just place the scanner in the home base and it automatically uploads to the website.

You get points for every week you use your scanner and can earn bonus points for filling out surveys. Once you get enough points, you can turn them in for free stuff. I took a quick look and saw everything from coolers and children's toys to kindles and tvs. I know it takes awhile to save up enough points to actually get something, but I enjoy it. :) Plus, when I get a free ... something awesome... in the mail it will be that much more awesome! I know my neighbor used to do this and she ended up getting a free TV. I think it took her like 3 years, but still, awesome!

I applied last year and didn't get to do it, but applied again this year and was chosen to be a part of it. I filled out the application and never heard anything back from them, but just got the scanner a few weeks later. I was pretty happy about it.

I don't know if they are still accepting aplications, but if anyone is interested you can visit their website here.

Have a good day everyone!