Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wonderful, Wonderful Weekend

Well, I'm writing from my usual spot this time of the year, where you can find me when I'm not working, sleeping, working out or walking the dogs: the back deck. The trees have really bloomed out in just the last week, so we can barely see the lake now, but it's OK. All the green and bright purple buds on the trees are a beautiful sight as well. From about April through November, the back deck is basically just another room in our house. We have great flow-through air conditioning from the lake, so we usually just leave the doors to the deck open and enjoy the sights and sounds and smells of the outdoors all day. Love it, love it, love it. And since it's screened in, no bugs or adverse weather to worry about.

I just got back from kayaking with my friend Allison, who is a senior at IU this year. She brought her dog, a lab-chow named Mia, over to play with Bailey and Zoey, so the puppies entertained themselves while we kayaked around Eagle Pointe and over toward the spillway. Allison has a big final exam and project due tomorrow, so she headed home and now it's just me and the puppies chilling and enjoying the rest of the gorgeous day, dreading going back to work tomorrow. I'll probably be sitting right here the rest of the day, minus a break for a nice run. I've been doing a lot of biking lately (biked 20 miles yesterday) and slightly neglecting running, but Josh and I are headed up to Indy for the Indy 500 Mini-Marathon next weekend, so I need to get a couple good runs in this week. Josh is doing the half-marathon and I'm only doing the 5K... which I could probably do in the worst shape imaginable, so I think I'll be OK ;)

This weekend has been great. A little on the chilly side yesterday, but still nice weather. Friday I found out that I got into IU for grad school, so the weekend started out great. Mom came up and we had dinner at Mother Bear's and then spent the rest of the evening taking the dogs for a long walk by the lake and hanging out here on the deck chilling and talking.

On Saturday, I biked to the shelter in the morning to volunteer, volunteered for two hours and then biked back. It was kind of nice to be back to the house by 11 am and know how much I had already accomplished for the day! I spent most of the day out here with my laptop, working on a research project for my professor. (Yes, it's fun to do, because it's a subject I'm interested in: sociology. And the professor is one of the best in the country. But I also get paid to help :)

It stinks that I never get to spend the weekends with Gearry, and probably never will, as is the nature of his job. But it's OK, too. I get a lot of stuff done, have plenty of time to swim/bike/run, and can just enjoy some personal time. But, truthfully, I wouldn't mind having a little less personal time if it meant more Gearry quality time. Honestly though, I can't complain, because we get to spend more time together now than we ever have before in our 7.5 year relationship: Monday nights, Tuesday nights, all day Wednesday and a couple hours on Sunday mornings. Gearry has lots of exciting things (i.e. promotions!) going on at work right now, so his schedule is about to change again in the next couple weeks. Not sure exactly how it will change, but supposedly it's going to be even better. I'm cool with that.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I got in.

I, Stacey Young-Caudell, start grad school at IU this September. Grad school! WHOO HOO! I love knowing. More to come later, but this girl has had a super long week and is ready for some shut eye.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Upland Addiction

This weekend, Hillary came to visit from OSU. Yay! I think the last time I saw her was in early February, when she and Stebby last visited (yep, it’s my turn next to truck myself over to Ohio). She got in around 8:00 p.m. on Friday night and we spent the rest of the evening sitting on the back deck, talking and drinking wine. On Saturday, I had to get up early and volunteer at the animal shelter, but I was back home, had gone for a run and showered before noon. Gearry had to head off to work, so Hillary and I spent the afternoon doing a whole lot of nothing other than relaxing and playing with the pups.

Later in the afternoon we headed to town and spent a couple hours shopping at the mall. I found a store, believe it or not, that sells jeans up to 37 inch inseam. 37! As in “too tall for Stacey.” I haven’t had a long enough pair of jeans in years, so I was pretty ecstatic. And they were super cute, too, which bumped up the excitement level even more. Two new pairs of jeans, a cute shirt and some earrings later, we headed to Upland Brewery for dinner.

Now, I had eaten dinner at Upland just a week before for Josh’s birthday, but it seemed like the perfect place once again, and I have a permanent craving for their seitan tenderloin, so Upland it was. After a super tasty dinner, we headed to the Student Union on campus to take in a screening of the movie “27 Dresses.” I’d never seen it; Hill had and loved it. It ended up being a great, great movie. It also reminded how much I miss being on campus. Love that atmosphere.

Because we’re so cool and it was 10 pm, we headed home so that we could get to bed at a reasonable hour. Yeah, really cool on a Saturday night, I know, but Hillary had to leave for Ohio by 8:00 am the next day, and we were both pretty pooped. It was such a relaxing weekend… loved it. Love my Hill! Why is it the best ones always have to live so far away?

On Sunday I spent the day at Mom & Dad’s, just hanging out with Mom, watching TV, playing with the dogs and – above all – cleaning my car, which was atrocious after the long and nasty winter. I mean, BAD. I try to keep it nice in the spring-fall months, but it almost seems pointless in the winter. I have such a nice car, it’s a shame I let it get as bad as I did. But now, after two and a half hours of washing, cleaning carpets, de-hairing, vacuuming, etc., it’s pretty much brand new again.

Yesterday I worked (of course… and it was a long one, man) and then Gearry and I attended a focus group at IU Auditorium, to help them make improvements/changes to their wedding rental program. We rode the motorcycle for the first time this season, which was fantastic. Zooming around campus in the 75 degree sunshine is alright with me. After the focus group, we went to… yep… you guessed it… Upland. Gearry’s choice, not mine! As usual, though, it was super tasty and we had a great time dining on their outdoor patio.

Tonight Gearry actually has to work, unfortunately, because there’s some special event going on, but I have my second softball game to keep me preoccupied. The weather is gorgeous, so it should be a good time. If I don’t get hit in the throat again. Or the shin. Or any of the other places where I still have bruises from last week. Yeah, this former all-star is rusty. Tomorrow is supposed to be even more gorgeous: sunny and near 80. That means a long bike ride in the morning and kayaking with Gearry in the afternoon! I LOVE SPRING!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Picnics and Puppies

The glorious weather makes it impossible to stay inside for even the shortest amount of time, so yesterday -- after an awesome breakfast on the back deck -- Gearry and I packed up the puppies and a picnic and headed to Brown County State Park for some hiking, feasting and playing.

I was super, super sore from my softball game on Tuesday night (we lost... but I didn't suck as bad as I thought I was going to after not playing for four years... although I did get hit in the throat with the ball... that kind of hurt) so the "hiking" part of our excursion ended up only being a little two-mile trail around Ogle Lake. It's amazing how even though I've been triathlon training, I haven't done any sprints, and just the few little sprints I had to do during the softball game have every muscle in my body aching!

After our short (but nice) hike, we spread our picnic out on a table by the water and let the dogs play. Zoey does great off the leash, so she had a blast swimming and splashing in the water. Bailey, however, must stay on the leash, but he still did a bit of wading.

Perfect way to start the day. Pancakes, blueberry syrup, soy sausage, milk and juice on our back deck, overlooking the lake.

Yay for warm weather and sunshine! Let's hike!

Puppies take a swim.

The dogs play in the water while our picnic lunch awaits. "Chicken" (fake) salad, multi-grain crackers, fresh strawberries and cheese. And, of course, in honor of the warm weather, a six-pack of Leignenkugel's Summer Shandy. We even brought out the real, traditional, woven picnic basket for the occasion.

I had to take a picture of our muddy little girl, after she decided it was boring on the leash while we ate lunch and that it would be fun to dig a hole to China. Bailey looks on innocently in the background.

In other random news, I got an e-mail yesterday from IU that let me know my Praxis test scores had been received and -- since this was the last piece of my application puzzle -- my application had been forwarded on to the selection committee. Sooo... I should know relatively soon whether I got into grad school or not! Excited, nervous, excited, nervous. Either way, things will be OK, but I hope it happens.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy B-Day, Little Brother!

Can you believe my little brother is 21?? I can't. But, alas, I can assure you that he now officially is and I can assure you that we celebrated the occasion in style.

Josh and his friend from Purdue, Chad, came down to B-Town on Saturday afternoon to celebrate. I had originally planned on going up to West Lafayette for the event, but since this was Little 5 week at IU, Josh decided he'd like to come down and be a part of the madness. After stops at Oliver Winery for wine-tasting and the Crazy Horse (Josh's "first bar") for a beer, they made it out here to the lake. We were generally lazy for a couple hours, enjoying some munchies and relaxing. Around 8:00 we headed to town for some dinner and fun. We had some awesome food at Upland Brewery and then met up with some of my friends at Nick's English Hut. The night ended up ending a little early because we decided to head to another bar, only to discover that 1:00 a.m. was apparently the magic hour that EVERYONE in Bloomington was trying to get into EVERY BAR in Bloomington. We gave up on the idea of waiting in the drizzling rain and cold for a minimum of 30 minutes and paying a huge cover charge, and Josh had already enjoyed plenty of "wetting his whistle," so we ordered pizza, picked it up on the way home and headed back to the lake. Gearry had just gotten home from work, so it was perfect. We all hung out, grubbed a bit and finally hit the sack.

This morning, Gearry treated the guys to a tasty breakfast of filet mignon, eggs, biscuits and mimosas. I joined in, of course, except for the steak. So good! Josh and Chad headed back to Pur-don't around noon, hopefully happy and definitely full.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How Ironic.

I totally knew it was going to happen (duh, I can read weather reports, but also I mean I just "knew" it because that's how things work)... I'm feeling tons, tons, tons better today and look outside: nasty, rainy, stormy. Tomorrow and this weekend: nasty, colder, colder, colder.

Gearry has a busy Thrs., Fri., Sat. at work... lots of reservations and special little things going on, so I don't expect to see him much the next few days. It's just me and the puppies. Josh is coming down to Bloomington on Saturday for his 21st birthday. He's bringing a friend or two and they're crashing at our place... we'll probably go out for dinner that evening and then hit the bars. It's also Little 500 weekend, so I'm just expecting this to be an insanely crazy night. As much as I want to "party" with my brother, I think I'll play it safe and be the DD. That way we don't have to crash at somebody's place in town and can actually go back out to the lake that night and sleep in peace.

Another upside to not drinking: On Sunday I probably have my first (and likely only) practice for the upcoming softball season. I'm playing in the Bloomington league on the AuthorHouse team, and they usually don't practice once the season starts... and the season starts this coming Tuesday. Therefore, Sunday will probably be the one and only.

Then again, I may get to Saturday night and just decide to go hog wild. You never know with me. And I don't feel pressured either way.

Currently 4:03 p.m. At work until 5:30 p.m. Totally, completely and utterly bored. Out of my mind. I was super productive until about 3:00. Then it fizzled out and now I have given up hope of continued productivity today. Sometimes you just have to accept it when you get to that point... haha. Time to check the e-mail, read some online news and count down the minutes.

Oh, and a super cute picture of the kids to leave you with a smile:

I seriously don't pose them... they are just that cute. Furry best friends!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

While I Was Sleeping...

I am a little disturbed. I've been sleeping for approximately the last five days (literally... I've been out of the house to go to the doctor and I think I was about half-conscious at that point) and today I finally had to force myself outside (I can now breathe while talking... a big accomplishment) to take the dogs for a little walk and... Spring came while I was sleeping!

Seriously. Birds chirping, dandelions everywhere, little buds on the trees, bushes that formerly looked like a bundles of sticks now covered in bright yellow blooms... did that all really happen in the last five days?!

I'm not complaining, though. This winter was miserable and I loooooooooooove the warm weather. As soon as I finish banishing this nasty, nasty bug, here comes the camping, swimming, running, cycling, boating, kayaking, hiking, blah, blah, blah. Love it! Too bad about that whole "indoor work" thing. I really miss working at summer camp.

I am 99.5% sure I'll be going back to work tomorrow morning. I don't feel like I'm going to die today, which is a huge improvement, and I've got a looooooot of catching up to do at the office (did I mention "a lot"?) so back to work it will be.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

El Sicko

Sick. Again. After somehow making it through the entire winter relatively healthy, I had a nasty bug a couple weeks ago. Fortunately I was able to knock it out after four or five days with a round of antibiotics.

Whatever I have now, however, refuses to be tamed. I started getting sick on Thursday evening, and after battling through it for the last couple of days, my 102.4 degree fever was all the way down to 97.1 this morning. By the afternoon, though, back up to 100. I was a sweaty-chilling-feverish-sore throat-headache-body ache-congested mess. Thankfuly, Mom volunteered to babysit the dogs today and tomorrow so that I could rest, and she came up tonight to take me to the doctor. My fever was still sky high (102.5) and they think I have the flu. I'm starting flu meds and am just supposed to gets lots of rest and lots of fluids over the next couple days... and no work, since I'm really contagious. Which sucks, because there is a ton of stuff going on at work that I need to be involved in right now, but what can you do? I'm so sick of this couch... but here's to a couple more days of it.

I need to go back to sleep, and I can't really think of any other news worth reporting, so goodnight!