Monday, March 2, 2015

Bear Tie Ball

Last week, Magnum told me that, thanks to a case he has been working, we were going to be attending a black tie event.  It was called the Bear Tie Ball.  It is an annual event for the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation

We had such a wonderful evening!  We definitely are NOT "black tie event" people.  And, this was a very "froo froo, shoo shoo" event (yes, that IS the technical term, thank you very much!)  which we would never be able to afford on our own.  Thank you, Crazy Client, for funding our awesome night!!

It was really fun to get all dressed up.  Magnum commented that the last time we got to get dressed up like this was our wedding. =)  The event was held at the gorgeous Union Station here in ChiTown.  It was simply beautiful.

Because we don't get to get this dressed up often, Magnum was all about snapping pictures.  We have a bunch of bad iPhone photos from that night.  I played around and made them black and white, just to class 'em up a little. :P  (My dress was actually navy blue.  More on that in a minute...)


Ok, I'm sorry, but all I see here are my boobs!

Check out Magnum's shoes!!  He LOVED them, and got a ton of compliments that night. =)

Here's a really BAD selfie Magnum tried to take of us to send to his buddy.

We had such an amazing time that before we even left, Magnum said he would love for us to start socking away a little money each week so that we can attend again next year. I think it's a wonderful idea!! Maybe we can sock away enough to actually bid on something this time!

Ok, quick note about my dress...
I may have mentioned at some point in the 8 years I've been here that my brother was supposed to get married back in 2000, and called it off just weeks before the wedding.  Of course, by then, our bridesmaid dresses were purchased, altered, and ready to go.  15 years ago, I paid $350 for that damn dress, and then it never came out of the damn bag!  When Magnum told me we were going to this event, I immediately freaked out because I had NO idea what I was going to wear.  Guys have it easy, he just went and rented a tux.

I spent a half a day just stressing out before I remembered that dress, which had been hanging in the closet for 15 years, along with the damn shoes (which were another $100!!)  I pulled it out, tried it on, and hey!  It fit!  Well, there were definitely a few more lumps and bumps than there were 15 years ago, but it wasn't anything some great shapewear couldn't handle.  The only problem was with the jacket.  The sleeves were long, and for some reason, too long for me.  What the hell, did my arms shrink since I bought the dress?!  I spent another day trying to come up with an alternative, even calling one of my good friends to see about the dress she wore to her sister's wedding.  Finally, on Thursday, I figured I'd better get the dress cleaned, just in case I ended up wearing it.  When I went to the dry cleaners, it suddenly occurred to me that I should see if they could shorten the sleeves.  I knew it was a long shot, since it was already Thursday, but I figured the worst they could say is "no," right?  I asked the seamstress about making them 3/4 length sleeves.  Then, I got REALLY bold, and asked if she could have it ready the next day (Friday).  And, thank the sweet Lord, she said yes!  I figured, this way, if I still didn't like it, I Friday night, and all day Saturday to look for something else.

Well, clearly the jacket turned out great.  I'm so glad I finally got to wear the dress, as it really was pretty.  And looking at those pictures made me remember just how far I've come from this:





I've been beating myself up lately because I've "fallen off the wagon," which is probably evident in those first pictures.  But, I'm saving that for another post.  In the meantime, I'm going to try and remind myself to be proud of where I am right now.

Monday, February 16, 2015

What did YOU do for Valentine's Day?

Ok, so Magnum turned 50 last Friday.  I know I've posted more than once about how his birthday is the day before Valentine's Day, and how I always used to make it a big, combined celebration back in the day.  Well, I managed to tie the two together again this year.  I surprised him the night of his birthday with concert tickets.  For a concert that was the next night.  Valentine's Day.  And, man, did I do good....

We went to see........







Ok, they actually look more like this now.....

 We freakin' saw Fleetwood Mac!!!

Man, oh man, did they put on an incredible show!!  I don't know if you are aware of this, but they are no longer spring chickens. (Mick 67, John 69, Christine 71, Lindsey 65, Stevie 66)  We were seriously impressed with the show they put on that night.  They played for 2 1/2 hours, with no intermission.  There was a point, about half-way through, where everyone but Lindsey Buckingham went backstage for a few minutes, and he did a solo, but it was less than 10 minutes.  We were amazed at their stamina.

Speaking of stamina, let me just say, Lindsey Buckingham is a freakin' MACHINE!  That man was up and down, back and forth, all over that stage.  He can still play that guitar like a rock star.  It was incredible.

Stevie's pipes aren't quite what they used to be, but she still sounded great.  She can't quite hit the top of her range anymore, so she adjusted a few notes here and there.  But, it took nothing away from the show.  And, let me tell you, she can still dance and move, and play The Diva.  (She actually did two costume changes, which for some reason, amused the hell out of Magnum.)

It was really just an awesome night.  We were cracking up, though, at the crowd.  They were all geezers like us!  Most of the men were gray and/or bald, and we lost count of the number of canes/walkers/wheelchairs we saw.  For real!  We thought it was so funny.  Although, I didn't think it was funny when none of them stood up during the show.  I was dying to get up and dance, like I've done at every single other concert I've ever been to.  But, I didn't want to stand in front of the people behind me unless they were standing, so I just kept my behind in my seat.  Although, we DID get up during the encores, and I got my boogie on.  There was a group one section over, and a few rows back, from us, who were up and dancing the whole time.  I kept telling Magnum that I wanted to move over where they where, but I didn't want to make the people in my row stand up and let me out!

While we were waiting to get into the venue, we noticed a sign hanging on the wall above the doors.  It was one of those "we are not responsible....." type postings.  But, in the wording, the old name for the venue (The Rosemont Horizon) was used.  (It is now called the Allstate Arena.)  That made me think about the very first time I was there.  (Actually I feel like I shared this story before...)  It was the very first concert I ever went to, and Magnum took me.  We went to see ZZ Top.  As we were talking about that night, it suddenly occurred to me that that was ALSO for Magnum's birthday.  His 21st, to be exact.  It was almost 29 years to the day.  (I actually looked it up, and that concert was on Feb. 27)  The part I think I shared before is how, after the concert, on our way out, I fell down a whole flight of stairs.  Magnum jokingly asked if I was planning to do that again that night and I said, "Jeez, I hope not, cuz this time I'd probably break a damn hip!"  He then made some kind of crack about how he'd just borrow a walker from somebody there for me.  Ah....the joys of aging....

I hope you all did something great for your Valentine's Day, too. =)

Friday, February 6, 2015

My new obsession...

...lately has been this yummy little snack I threw together the other day.  I had a little bit of peanut butter left in a jar, and wanted to use it/get rid of it, to make room in the refrigerator.  So, on a whim, I grabbed some Greek yogurt (one of my other obsessions) out the fridge, too.  I put the PB in a bowl, and warmed it a few seconds in the microwave, just to soften it up.  (It was about 1/4-1/3 cup, maybe?)  Then I mixed it with about a cup of yogurt, and a drizzle of agave syrup.  (Only because I was using natural PB).  I mixed the hell out of it, then said, "Hey!  Why not add a little cinnamon?!"  You know, cuz it's supposed to help regulate blood sugar and stuff.

Man, let me tell you, that concoction smelled heavenly!  I sliced up a delicious, crisp, tart Granny Smith apple, and got to dippin'!  Mouth-gasm!!  It's very reminiscent of a taffy apple, but without all the "bad" stuff.  I think the next time I make it, I may either add some chopped nuts (to REALLY get that Taffy Apple effect) or some flax seed.  They would add some crunch, and I'm guessing, up the nutritional benefits.

I'm 100% certain some of you have already thought of this, and probably have enjoyed it many times.  But, I love it too much not to share.  I should have snapped a picture of it today when I made it (for the third time this week!) but I just couldn't resist shoving it in my pie hole.  Sue me...

Monday, February 2, 2015

The official number...

...is 19.2 inches.

We spent another 3+ hours clearing snow this morning.  (We had to wait until 7 am to start, so we didn't disturb the neighbors.)  Much easier this morning than yesterday, since there weren't the strong blowing winds we had to deal with yesterday.  It took much less time.   However, it's much colder today.  It was around 19° while we were shoveling.  But, without the gusting wind, it felt warmer than yesterday.  Go figure.

But, I hear we're supposed to get more snow on Tuesday.  I'm just going to embrace it as another chance to get a great workout.  On my favorite news show this morning, they did a demonstration to show just how heavy the snow is, and how much of a workout you get shoveling.  A cubic foot of snow (about the average shovelful) weighed in at 15 lbs.  They said that shoveling an average driveway here in Chicago, which is generally 10x20, means that you would move literally a ton of snow.  My driveway is double wide, and extra long, since my garage is all the way at the back of my lot.  Between my driveway, the neighbors, and my parents', I plan to shovel close to 5 tons of snow on Tuesday.  Go me!

This is me...


...thanks to the first real snow of the season.  When all is said and done, by the morning, we could have as much as 19 inches on the ground.

This snow, however, is really making me miss my Buster.  I can see him right now, running, jumping, just generally frolicking in the mounds of snow in the yard.  He was always happiest in this kind of weather, and would instantly become that playful puppy again.

~~sigh~~

Magnum and I spent quite a bit of time clearing snow today.  He actually plowed twice here at home.  He went out early, before church, and did our driveway and sidewalk, as well our neighbor's.  By the time we got home from church, it looked like he hadn't done a thing.  We went to my parents' and took care of their driveway and sidewalk, before coming home and doing ours again.  It was a tiring, chilly few hours, but it was a good workout.  Plus, it looks so darn pretty out there!  Ok, I'll stop now, before Jen reaches through her computer and smacks the crap out of me. :-/

Oh, one last thing.  Stud and I will both be enjoying a Snow Day tomorrow.  Love it!! =)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Good night, Sweet Prince...

We just got home from the local animal welfare place. We needed to put our sweet Buster down this morning. I had intended to do a proper post when the time came, but our internet went out last night, so I'm posting this from my phone. I don't know if this is even going to work. 

Since I cannot use my computer to post, I tried to pull some pictures from old posts. I know there is a better way to do it, but this was the best I could do for today.

This is one of my very favorite pictures of Dorky Dog. 
And, finally, my all-time favorite picture ever of Buster.

Magnum is a complete mess right now. I'm waiting until later to have my breakdown. Right now, I need to mop the kitchen floor. You don't even want to know...

Good bye, Buster. We love you. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Just popping in to say...

...I don't have time to pop in!

Thankfully, I was able to get a bunch of hours with my sister's company.  Actually, I guess I should stop calling it "my sister's company" since I am also their employee now, but whatever.  We've been working like crazy since Black Friday.  Today will probably be my only day off until Christmas.  The only downside this year is that I'm actually working WITH my sister (no, THAT'S not the downside, smartasses!) which means I'm working downtown.  The commute alone makes me hate it.  I'm definitely not loving it like I did last holiday season, when I was at a suburban mall.  But, the money is decent, and Lord knows, I need it.

Ok, like I said, this is probably my only day off, so I think I'm going to try and get some shopping done, and maybe bake a couple million cookies.

Or, maybe I'll give in to the desires of this old, worn-out body, and take a nap....

Happy Holidays to all my Bloggy Buddies!