>It’s been a crazy month!

>I can’t believe it’s almost February already! These past few weeks have flown by. Good news: Aaron has a job prospect. I will post more when we know more! More good news: my cousin and his wife (Bryan and Michelle) are going to have a baby, due in August! This will be the first great-grandbaby on both sides of my family. It’s interesting though, because Bryan and I share two sets of grandparents (our moms are sisters and they married brothers).

Ugh, I think everyone is sick of this cold weather. A couple weeks ago we had three snow days in a row at my school, which evolved into a six-day weekend. It was more than welcome since we really didn’t get a lot of rest during Christmas break. Aaron still worked, of course, but it was nice to spend time together during the day. That Saturday night our three-year-old niece Zaia came to spend the night with us and that was fun. She and I made pizza and cookies. Here are a couple pictures:

A goal Aaron and I have is to be healthier, but it’s not necessarily a New Year’s resolution. We’ve been really working toward this goal by working out regularly (we joined World Gym on University in Peoria) and eating right. It seems that all we have in the apartment is “healthy food” but I guess that’s a good thing! So far we’re seeing results – we’re slimming down a bit and feeling better overall. We both have a history of heart/blood pressure/diabetes issues in our families so starting early is key! We’ve also found that buying more fruits and veggies, lean means, and whole grains is really not that much more expensive than normal. It’s a little pricier, but if you cut out soda, chips and other things, it comes out about even. Needless to say, we’re excited about creating new and healthy habits! Don’t worry; we’re not becoming health nuts. Just the other night we rewarded our good “behavior” by going to Coldstone!

We’re also finding cheaper ways of entertainment. If we go out (which is definitely not as common as six months ago) we go during lunch hours on the weekends. Or we don’t order a drink, just water. If you order two sodas or tea plus tax and tip you’re adding about $8 to the total bill! We got lucky last time we went to see a movie (Gran Torino, it was amazing) we paid the matinee prices at Willow Knolls. We’ve tried to downgrade our Comcast bill, but they won’t let us just get rid of cable and keep Internet. It’s probably cost us more to switch at this point, so we’ll just suck it up and live with it.

Just wanted to provide you with an update and maybe a reason to procrastinate, haha. Have a good evening and thanks for reading!

–Elizabeth
xoxo

>The Christmas Extravaganza!

>I can’t believe winter break is almost over. Aaron and I both go back to work on Monday, and these two weeks have been a whirlwind! We have been trying to “make our rounds” as far as visiting family and I feel like central Illinois roads have been our best friends lately. Here’s how things went:

Christmas Eve – bowling with Aaron’s family and then dinner with my parents and grandparents
Christmas Day – hanging out at home in the morning and then spending the whole day with Aaron’s family (all four boys were home)
December 26 – going to see my other grandparents in the morning and then my aunt, uncle, and cousins in the afternoon
December 27 – dinner with my grandma (we saw her on Christmas Eve)
December 28 – going to see my aunt and cousins
December 29 & 30 – watching our nieces and nephew for two days and one night
December 31 – I had coffee with a friend and then we had New Year’s Eve fun with Aaron’s family
Today – We went to see his grandparents
Tomorrow – Rehearsal dinner for my friend’s wedding
Saturday – I’m a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding
Sunday – church in the morning and then NOTHING!!!

Goodness gracious, we’ve been busy. It’s been really nice getting to see everyone. We’ve been to Peoria, Pekin, Atlanta, Normal, Kankakee, Farmington… see what I said about the road being our best friend??

We’re still in the midst of making decisions about jobs and finances. I have decided not to go back to school for my Master’s. We’re not really sure if we’ll even be in the area next fall and although the program was going to be all online, I didn’t want to start something I might not have been able to finish. Also, we’d have to add on more loans to the tens of thousands I already have from undergrad. Just not a financially sound decision right now.

These past two weeks have been wonderful but also hard on me. I broke down a little bit when we put the Christmas decorations away. This apartment (very nice, by the way) has finally started to feel like home. We have our furniture and dishes and everything the way we like and sometimes it’s sad to think that next year at this time we may not be here.

This economy just isn’t lending itself to our settling down in this area of the country. Actually, nowhere is better, but there may be different opportunities for Aaron right now. We decided when we got engaged and were both looking for jobs that I would follow him to where the work was. I’m a certified teacher so I can really find a job anywhere, especially with my Spanish degree.

Anyway, enough talk. Here are some pics from the holidays.


Chris, Grandpa, Dad, Aaron and Nick cleaning off the driveway


My six-month-old cousin Levi


Having dinner at my grandma’s


Our ten-month-old niece, Lena


My cousins Kari and Jamie (Eric is Jamie’s husband) and us, the giants, haha


Our niece Zaia and me

These pictures definitely don’t include everyone, but they’re just some of the ones I took with our sweet new Nikon Coolpix (1o.o mpx!).

I’m sure I will give you all an update soon!

–Elizabeth