Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adventures in Minnesota!

Well, since it's been a while since I last posted I figured I better write about the fun trip my hubby & I took to Minnesota last week. The kids were (and still are, at the time of this writing) at Grammy & Grandpa's house in Illinois & we both had a couple days off from work so we decided to take a short trip up to the Twin Cities so we could go see the Mall of America. Some of my thoughts on the trip include the following (note that I have "Mall of America" abbreviated to "MoA"):

  • We left Ames a bit before 8:00 AM on Thursday morning (7/15) & pulled into the MoA parking lot at about 10:30 AM...southern Minnesota is quite beautiful to see!
  • The Lego store is quite amazing...they've got lots of cool displays of things like dinosaurs & airplanes made out of legos! (I took a number of pictures, they're up on Facebook.)

  • We ate lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., the ambiance was cool & my food was yummy...but Mark was disappointed in his meal (I believe he ordered a Po'Boy sandwich).

  • I touched a Coach purse! (The saleslady told me that the "least expensive handbag" they had in the store was $198!)

  • I could've lived in the "Sanrio Store" (AKA the "Hello Kitty store") forever if I'd wanted to!

  • If you ever go to the MoA, you should definitely go to the Moose Mountain Mini Golf Course...we played a round there & it was a lot of fun, even though Mark beat me by a single stroke!

  • We ate dinner at a restaurant called "Noodles & Company"...it was really affordable & the food was delicious! This is another place I'd highly recommend to anyone who's going to the MoA anytime soon!

  • In the about 8 hours we were there, I think we made 2 full trips through the MoA...needless to say, we were eager to relax in the hot tub at the hotel once we checked in (I don't think I've walked that much in a single day in my entire life)!

  • We walked through a Cub Foods store that was near the hotel we stayed at...and now Mark is convinced that his store is "long overdue" for a remodel!

  • When we were coming home on Friday, we ate lunch at a great little restaurant in Albert Lea, MN called "Trumbles"...it was really delicious & I highly recommend it to anyone who is travelling in that area!

All in all, it was a lot of fun to go, but it's not something I'd recommend you try to do in a single day...next time we go, when we take the kids, we'll probably split it into 2 days & maybe go to the Minnesota Zoo as well!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some Things I've Learned Recently...

As many of you know, my Dad recently graduated from seminary after attending for the past 3 years. I, along with the kids, drove to Wisconsin last week for the graduation ceremony & we had a good time while we were there. It was good to see many of the folks who were there, including some relatives I hadn't seen in quite some time. During the trip, there were many things that I learned...

1) If Isaac's eating/napping schedule is thrown off, he will let you know about it!

2) Isaac really looks cute in a girly purple shirt & jeans...

3) Get gas for the car before going to important events!

4) A certain blond niece of mine has a bright future as a teacher or a child therapist!

5) Southern Wisconsin really is a beautiful place...

6) If you get lost, just keep driving & you'll eventually find the correct highway again...

7) Don't let a certain teenage son waste his money on junk, no matter how much he begs!

8) Don't ever feed certain 1 year olds Froot Loops for breakfast!

9) Vacations are the ultimate "speed bump" when it comes to dieting!


10) Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Picture This...

OK, here's the deal...I wanted to get some professional pictures taken of my kids, so I figured I'd go back to the same studio that I'd used before. (It's the studio inside our local Super Wal-Mart...I'd used them before to get some group pics of the kids back around Christmastime.) I was hoping to have the pictures with me when I took my trip up to Wisconsin next week, so when I called I asked if that would be possible. The man who answered the phone said that if I made an appointment for May 9th, the pictures would be ready to be picked up on the 18th, so I made an appointment for that day. I should've known that was the beginning of an absolute nightmare for me...

We ran late that morning so we didn't get to the store until 5 minutes after our appointment was supposed to begin (that was my own fault though), & then Isaac didn't want to behave while the other two were being photographed so he was screaming & trying to escape from the studio the entire time. Finally, the photographer finished the session & I decided on which packages to purchase. As we got ready to leave, I anticipated getting the "preview printout" of pictures so I could show folks (& also claim my session on the website), but the guy said his printer wasn't working properly so I didn't receive that printout. I was disappointed, but he said I'd be receiving an e-mail with the activation code within 24 to 48 hours. Well...

Tuesday arrived & I still hadn't received anything, so I called the studio (I actually talked to the guy who was our photographer). He apologized for the delay (you know, the usual crap they tell you...I know, I work in customer service too) & told me that due to security reasons he didn't actually have the password for my session photos...but I could call the toll-free hotline & the folks there could help me out. As soon as I got home later that day, I called that number & the lady I talked to assured me she'd look into the problem and pretty much told me the same thing, to allow 24 to 48 hours for the pictures to show up online. Well...

It's now been 48 hours since that phone call & STILL no pictures!!!! I called them again today & the lady (who just happened to be the same lady I talked to on Tuesday) apologized again & promised me that I'd have my pictures by the end of the day. To be honest I'm not too confident about that happening...I plan on checking when I get home from work tomorrow morning & if they're still not there, I will NOT be happy! I have a receipt that shows I paid for the session, & I know for damn sure that if my pictures are not at the studio on the 18th like they promised, I will be lodging a complaint with the Better Business Bureau against this place & I may even call the police to complain to them as well.

I admit, I know that not all the Super Wal-Mart photography studios are probably not all like this, but I am extremely disappointed in my recent experience there. The previous two times I'd used that studio things were great & there were no problems at all...the third time was definitely not the charm this time though! As far as I'm concerned, unless certain things happen (I have a list of things in my mind that they need to do for me before I will be happy), I will never be a customer at that photography studio ever again.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day, My Scale Is Broken!

Well, I decided that I am going back on my diet...I did Weight Watchers previously & had to quit when I found out I was expecting my youngest child, but I was quite successful at it & lost 40 pounds. I am hoping for the same success again this time around!

Anyway, this morning I stepped on the scale so I'd have my starting weight, and it said 200.4 pounds. I did a double-take & re-weighed myself, it said the exact same weight, 200.4 pounds! Two days ago, when we bought the scale, I weighed myself & it had said at that time I weighed 212 pounds...there is NO WAY I could have lost 12 pounds in 2 days!!!! (That would be really nice if it were true, but even I know that's not healthy to lose that much weight that fast...I'm not on "The Biggest Loser".) Oh well, I'm gonna use the lower weight and hope that my scale isn't wrong; I may be going for my annual physical soon & will compare my weight at the doctor's office to what my scale says to see what is more accurate. (An update...I just weighed myself again (at 5:30 pm) & the scale said I weighed 227.4 pounds! I'm pretty sure that number is probably accurate, so I'm gonna use that number unless I see something different at my physical. Stupid scale has a life of its own, I swear!)

My ultimate goal is to lose at least 50 pounds...we'll see how it goes this time around! Wish me luck, cause I'm sure I will need it!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My First Blog

Well, I figured I should have one of these blogs...I'll post at random times about different things going on in my life, whether it's exciting or boring or whatever. We'll see how often I remember to actually do it. :)