In Australia it's common to use the terminology "fortnight" for a period of 2 weeks, hence the name of this entry summarizing the past 2 weeks. The above and below pictures are from "Casino Night" last weekend. It was a lovely Saturday afternoon and the boys were trying to plan an activity for the evening. Some wanted to go to the actual casino, but then the idea to create our very own was brought up. Brilliant! They split up buying the table, card distributor, & 5 decks of cards. One person brought over the chips. Ceej made guacamole & I made brownies & meatballs. We pushed aside the coffee table and brought our kitchen table into the living room to play. It was a great night!! Some came out ahead, some behind. What a fun & random event! The below picture is of my mom & I at Younkers for "Woman of the Year" through WWIB (a Christian radio station here in Eau Claire). I had nominated her and she was one of the 20 contestants. The Woman of the Year was actually just drawn out of a hat from the the 20 & won a $750 gift certificate to Younkers (a bonus for me because we can share clothes). Well, she didn't actually win, but we had a really nice morning. It started out with a long walk around Altoona, getting to the event at 10 and realizing that the drawing was at 11:45, so we drove to the Cap & Cork (wine store) to vote for her bottle label (she makes wine & labels for a hobby), and then to Aldi's for some groceries. I hadn't been to Aldi's for a while, so I forgot how CHEAP it is. I was quite excited and got a card full of great stuff. Some of you quality over quantity seekers may be shaking your head in disgust, but Aldi's suits us beautifully. Below is a shot from yesterday. Ceej and I spent the day in Menomonie volunteering at a basketball tournament with Special Olympics. It was a ton of fun & a great experience! I can't wait to volunteer at more events (yes, I've already started looking into them), and Ceej enjoyed it, too! I was the announcer (can you imagine? it was great) and he kept score for one of the teams, so we were able to be together. I was amazed at how many people were there! There were 4 games going on at all times, and the parking lot was FULL of cars. The day was filled with magical moments; I would look around and just get tears in my eyes at the pure joy around me. Most of the teams had a few players who made most of the baskets. On one team, however, every single person had a made a basket with the exception of one boy. He was working hard and shooting, but all of them were slightly off. Finally, with 24.7 seconds left in the game he shot and made a 3 point basket! He threw his arms in the air and cheered. They won the game. It was amazing! We received the shirts we're wearing in the picture at the event... and it suits me perfectly because I'm known for my value of "person-first language". It is something that is very important to me after my education about and work with individuals who have disabilities. We were at the basketball tournament from 1-6 PM and decided to make a night of our time in Menomonie. We went to a Mexican restaurant and then met Jesse & Quinn at a bar for an improv comedy show. It was lots of fun, but the last comic was very disrespectful and we ended up leaving (the comics had been on for 4 hours, so it was getting old). It was fun to get out and enjoy some quality time with friends and one another!
After being crazy in love for a decade, we officially became a family on May 23, 2009. We are thrilled to be married and enjoying this exciting time in our lives! Ceej worked as a Journeyman plumber and is now bidding jobs for a local plumbing company, and Em graduated from UW-Madison in December of 2008 and is in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Minnesota to be completed in the Fall of 2011. Our sweet baby Hazel Leann arrived April 1, 2011 (no foolin'!) and is the biggest joy and blessing we didn't know we needed. Life isn't perfect, but it sure is wonderful - We're truly enjoying every new second of God's awesome plan for our lives!
Pictures credit to Forever Photography (family/baby) and McManigal Photography (wedding).