25 Things about me (Laura)

January 29, 2009

So this little activity has been going around facebook, but I thought I’d put this on here for the family members who have not yet joined facebook! Enjoy getting to know me better!

1. I want to visit all 50 states and 6 of the 7 continents….I hate the cold, Antarctica is OUT! I haven’t gotten very far. I have 30 states left and 5 continents! Also in order for a state to count I have to see something there, and spend the night.

2. I hate cold weather, I used to love it until I went to college and had to walk to class, now I loathe it on a daily basis.

3. The thing I am most excited about I also dread the most. I am so excited to move someplace totally different with Andrew and have a life with him there. At the same time I dread leaving my parents, friends, church, and everything familiar.

4. I LOVE KIDS! Yet I fear on a daily basis actually having them anytime in the near future. I want to be selfish for at least another 4 years. Once you have kids that whole selfish thing flies out the window.

5. I must adopt. God put this desire on my heart 5 years ago and I can’t let it go. I have so much love to give and there are tons of kids out there ready to receive it. At the same time I received this desire to adopt I lost the desire to birth children. Perhaps this is God’s way of preparing me for something I am still unaware of.

6. After the 1st day of Kindergarten I have wanted to be a teacher…I don’t think I’ll feel fulfilled in life until I have at least one classroom, even if it’s only for a year. Teaching is not just a job its a calling.

7. I am incredibly afraid of tornadoes. I have had this fear since I can remember and no matter how hard I pray during these times I typically have panic attacks. I hope this goes away before I become a mother! YIKES!

8. Andrew is the best representation of God’s faithfulness in my life. I prayed to have a teamate for life and Andrew fit every thing I wanted, even the things I thought were superficial and stupid…God gave me what I wanted even though I am completely undeserving!

9. I’ve had the same Best Friend for 15 years. She has seen me through everything and I know she will be my lifelong friend. I was honored that she stood beside me as I married the man of my dreams and I can’t wait until I get to do the same for her on May 9th!

10. I love my family and I enjoy spending time with them. I look forward to becoming an Aunt in March/April!

Now for some silly stuff ūüôā

11. I hate peas, they smell and taste awful!

12. I have major issues with textures, not so much in food, but in fabrics!

13. I love to shop… dressy clothes are my favorite thing to purchase.

14. I love a good bargain, I try to stick to Stacey and Clinton’s rule, “It isn’t a bargain unless it looks good on you and you would have liked it even if it was full price.”

15. My favorite meal is meatloaf, if you don’t know why, you should try my mom’s!

16. I always loved Mondays since I was a kid. I always had my homework done on Monday’s because I had the whole weekend to prepare. I still like Monday’s, but now it is because it’s my day off!

17. I love watching the Biggest Loser! I am inspired every season by the contestants.

18. I don’t really like the beach, Sand in my nails and in my shoes is the worst feeling…once again it’s a texture thing.

19. Ironically some of my favorite honeymoon memories took place at the beach. Moonlight walks on the beach top laying out in the heat any day of the week!

20. I love to travel, I hate to fly. Cruises are my favorite form of travel transportation.

5 to go I guess I’ll put a few more serious ones. That’s what is coming to mind!

21. Since I was a little kid I’ve known that I will not settle for a mediocre existence. I don’t exactly know what this is going to look like, but I know it is going to involve faith and risks.

22. My biggest fear right now is going into debt. Something about debt scares me beyond most other things!

23. I learned very quickly that marriage in the movies and marriage in real life are radically different things. Partially because in real life the love is real. Real love is so much better than the romantic type from the movies, but it’s a lot more work!

24. I love people, I have a passion for them and I want to live my life loving the unloved!

25. The best decisions I have ever made: Choosing to genuinely follow Jesus, marrying Andrew, and surrounding myself with wonderful friends…in that order!


Last night Andrew and I finally had a night to ourselves. We have really enjoyed hanging out with all our friends lately and we have a full three nights ahead of us! Our first 4 months of marriage were pretty much spent alone, we felt out of the loop, and we just hung out alone every night. So this change in social life has been extrememly refreshing! Yesterday was my day off so I spent the day with my mom cleaning out my bathroom at my parents. I know I haven’t lived there for almost 6 months, but I just now got around to getting the stuff out of all the drawers…better late than never right? Andrew and I went straight to the gym after he got off work and then home for a movie night. Since I was off work I wanted to take it upon myself to make “healthy” stromboli. I rarely get to treat Andrew to dinner due to my later work schedule so I was excited to have this opportunity. As I pull the bread dough out of the refrigerator Andrew bounds around the corner to “help” me. When Andrew helps, believe it or not, he tends to take over. He told me last night that if I wasn’t going to let him help then I wasn’t allowed to ask questions either…real nice! Luckily it was easy enough that I didn’t need a lifeline and it came out perfect, if I do say so myself and I do! Andrew recently checked out 6 movies from the library so we had plenty of options! I am a sucker for “true story/based on a true story movies.” Something about them gets me sucked in and I feel like I know the characters. So we decided we would watch Munich…about 20 minutes into the movie I decided this was not the kind of true story movie I liked…way too bloody for my taste so I got up to make some “healthy brownies” I had never made this recipe before, but it didn’t look too challenging. First mistake, baking soda and baking powder are not the same thing. I knew this, but didn’t read the recipe correctly so after putthing the soda in I just put a scoop of powder in too, I figured they can’t be THAT different. WRONG when I pulled them out after well over their baking time the brownies were a soupy mess. That didn’t stop us from eating them of course. So second attempt at a movie…Thirteen days about the Cuban Missile Crisis. I really enjoyed this movie despite the HORRIBLE Boston accents. They weren’t anything close to what I’m surronded by when we go home to visit the family! Our night started with Stromboli and Munich ended with gooey brownies and Thirteen Days! We are in for a more exciting remainder of the week…check back in a few days to hear about our entertaining!

-10 degrees??

January 16, 2009

Alright, I knew that when I came to Illinois, I would experience the seasons just like Massachusetts. But, I never thought that I would be going through extended periods of negative-degree weather! This is NOT OK. Laura and I are plotting ways to escape the weather, but haven’t come up with anything realistic. I think one thing we are quickly agreeing on is that we need to find a place to move post-Champaign that does not get below freezing. Something with an average of 75 degrees year-round. California would be great but it is really expensive. I’m thinking more like Arizona-Texas-Arkansas-Georgia. All along the south/southwest we have benefits. We have friends in Arizona, family in Texas, and Georgia is close to New England without the weather! Of course it really depends on where I can get a job, a process that I am starting to seriously begin thanks to a terrible economy. I will investigate companies and assemble contacts until late this summer when I’ll begin sending resumes and applying for jobs, and hopefully a year from now I will know where Laura and I will end up! I know it’s not far in the future, but it sure drags when the temperature outside is so cold. At least it motivates Laura and me to hit the gym in preparation for warmer weather!

So I have noticed over the years the “If you give a mouse a cookie” phenomenon. If you give someone something they really want eh hem like a new 46 inch big screen T.V. They’ll probably ask for a Blue Ray Player. When they install the Blue Ray player they will realize that the picture is beautiful, but the sound is just not up to par so they’ll probably ask for surround sound stereo. When the surround sound stereo is installed they will want to have ALL the cable channels so they can experience the surround sound while watching 200 channels in HD. What I’ve learned from this….DON’T GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE! See my husband’s comment below to fully understand my point!

We waited…for a day…

January 10, 2009

We crunched some numbers and I called a friend with a van and…the new TV is here! Granted, we don’t have cable channels (except for a couple that somehow come in through the basic subscription we have), but since the networks broadcast in HD I think we’ll be fine. I would LOVE to have Blu-Ray and surround sound, and cable, but we’ll take one thing at a time!


Samsung 46" LCD HDTV

Samsung 46" LCD HDTV

I cut myself a nice piece of sweet bread this morning, buttered and jellied it and went in to watch T.V. while Andrew was in the shower.¬† I press the remote power button…nothing happens, I click it over and over again…nothing happens.¬† I tell myself get off your lazy butt and go turn the T.V. on so I walk up to the T.V. press the button…still nothing happens.¬† Andrew comes out and pulls the T.V. out from the corner, checks it…diagnosis…the T.V. is broken!¬† I almost had to chuckle because while visiting home this past week my mother-in-law was talking to me about how when you feel like everything is finally getting to the point where you feel financially sound something breaks and you have to fix it!¬† I got to thinking “wow we are lucky nothing like that has happened to us and we are getting ready to pay off some of our bills.”¬† Of course as soon as I think that our T.V. stops working.¬† The master plan was that this T.V. would get us through the next 18 months and then when Andrew starts his career we will get a nice big flat screen T.V.¬† Andrew talks frequently about this big screen, but to me I didn’t think it would be a reality…well reality hit today.¬† We are not going to get some cheap T.V. and waste money on something we really don’t want.¬† So we are going to work the numbers and get Andrew’s dream T.V. in the next month or two.¬† Until then we will be without a T.V.¬† My parents volunteered to let us borrow one of theirs, but after recalling the misery of getting the original T.V. up 3 flights of stairs to our apartment, we’ve decided we can go without for a bit.¬† So it looks like Andrew is getting his way…kind of, I mean he still has to lug our T.V. down the stairs to the dumpster and heave the new one up the stairs, I’m sure he feels this small sacrifice is worth the huge beautiful T.V. which will soon take residence in our little home!

So Andrew and do a devotion for the 1st-5th graders at church every 4th Sunday of the month.¬† On December 28th we did a devotion about how we should make commitments, not resolutions.¬† In the Bible we see God making commitments to us so we want to go along with that model and commit to do different things this year.¬† I personally don’t mind the term resolution, but EVERY TIME I say it Andrew corrects me, so commitment it is!¬† This year Andrew and I want to commit to our health.¬† We both battle serveral different digestion issues so this year we are committing to getting to the bottom of this.¬† We have only been at this for 8 days and I personally can no longer eat anything with tomatoes, pesto, or parmesean cheese.¬† I am realizing more and more that I will most likely be giving up most of my favorite foods.¬† I know in the end it will be completely worth it.¬† I want so badly to get through a week without feeling sick at least one day.¬† I can honestly say in 23 years of life I have probably been sick AT LEAST one day a week every week!¬† Commitment #1 Get Healthy!

The second commitment is to be more Earth friendly.¬† I am not going to go all organic, or use biodegradable toilet paper, but I realize there are really simple things we can do to be nicer to God’s Earth.¬† The most tangible commitment we are making is to use our green bags when we go to the grocery store.¬† This is so simple and yet for the last 5 months we have only remembered a handlful of times.¬† We are off to a great start.¬† Last night we went to the grocery store and did not have to use a single plastic bag!¬† We are gradually transitioning to using more natural products such as natural laundry soap and dishwashing soap, but only because they are the same price as the regular chemical kind.¬† This year I hope to transition to the natural cleaning supplies…we’ll see about that.¬† commitment #2 Using the eco bags

This brings me to my last commitment…this is the most important one too!¬† This year I am commiting to letting things go more often.¬† After Andrew and I got married I just couldn’t let things go anymore.¬† Every little thing would get to me and I would just be sad all the time.¬† I realize that life is too unpredictable to be upset.¬† Andrew is too precious of a gift to be rude to when I’m having a bad day.¬† When we were dating he would accidentally say offensive things, I was able to just let them slide because I knew deep down in my heart that he would never intend to hurt me.¬† All of a sudden the day we got married that switch was turned off and I am constantly offended by the way he speaks to me.¬† Well this year I’m turning¬†my tolerance¬†switch back on so that I can fully love and adore my husband, he is incredible and I know he only wants to build me up!¬† Commitment #3 Be more easy going!

So there it is folks I am commiting to these three things in 2009.¬† We’ll keep you posted on how we’re doing, but don’t hesitate to ask us…accountability can be extrememly convicting!¬† Feel free to post your 2009 commitments and we’ll build you up!

Back to Champaign!

January 7, 2009

Hello to all of you faithful readers! Laura and I returned to Champaign yesterday and are both back to work today. Last night we watched the season premiere of Biggest Loser Season 7 which was another great inspiration for us to drop a few pounds ourselves! We realize that we are not terribly overweight, but our health would definitely improve by losing some pounds. Anyways, hopefully we will have great news to report in the months to come. As a method for our eating plan, we are writing down all the food and drinks we consume…I have been faithful so far today (day 1) but I need plenty of encouragement. I don’t normally drink soda, and when I do it is diet or Coke Zero; I don’t want to completely eliminate it but I am consciously attempting to drink more water. Laura and I both started going to the gym together in December, but starting today we will be going regularly (shooting for at least 3 times per week). I think that exercise will yield the biggest results!¬†

Work is very slow today. Granted, I have to start up again after a couple weeks off and several unproductive months. I took inventory of all the chemicals I have in stock for my project. I need to plan my experiments for the next few weeks. Today my adviser left for 6 months in South Korea on sabbatical. We will communicate by e-mail and Skype web conferencing over this time, but things will definitely be slower than normal. I’m on the home stretch of grad school: about 18 months of research and writing, hopefully culminating in a May 2010 graduation!¬†

I don’t know how Laura’s day is going so far, but maybe she will update soon!