Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cookies & Beans

Here I am, resuming regular posting as promised! : )

Alison's wedding is over and done with, Spring is (sort of) on its way, and I've been in especially good spirits this week. I'm looking forward to some time at home soon, working on the house.

This week has been crazy busy so far with it being the first week in a new session of programs at the YMCA (more about that later). I've been working 8-8 most days, and am certainly looking forward to the weekend! With Trav running between both of his facilities getting lessons started he's been swamped as well - so we haven't had time for much other than work, eat, and sleep.

I did, however, want to give you an update on my seedlings...

Looking great, right? Those tall guys at the front are the green beans. They are about ready to move outside to harden off, and get planted in the next couple of weeks I think. I figure if nothing else, we're going to have ourselves some green beans this season!

We're also going to be eating a lot of cookies over the next few months...

This is only half of our stash!

A couple of girls from Trav's work were selling girl scout cookies and the combination of Trav's love for girl scout cookies and recent news reports about girl scout sales and fundraising profits being way down due to the economy this year, we ended up with about $40.00 worth of cookies! Yikes! This is not looking good for the weight watching... : )

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Alison's Wedding Wrap Up

Yes, yes, I'm still alive! It's been almost a week since I last posted - and I spent almost all of that time in an Alison Wedding Whirlwind! It was great fun! I'm still catching up on work, sleep, the house, etc. from all the festivities, so I'll leave you with a little re-cap in photos for now, and resume regular posting tomorrow. Enjoy, and... CONGRATS, NOAH & ALISON BRADOW!

Two Nights Before...

Rehearsal Dinner...

The Wedding...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On my mind...

Ever have one of those days where thoughts an ideas are just SWIMMING around in your head, bursting to get out? Today is one of those days.

I've been thinking a lot the past few days about where I am headed career-wise, and taking inventory of how I feel about work, school, and beyond.

It's come to my attention that I am spending most of my free time... WORKING.


I'm a compulsive e-mail checker, a huge worry wart, and sometimes pay TOO much attention to detail. When I should be coming home at the end of the day and focusing on other things like my house, my husband, my dog, hobbies, friends, etc. (not necessarily in that order!) I am actually just sitting back down at the computer and working more.

Something's gotta give.

For those of you that know me - you know that although I took my full-time position with GAAH almost a year ago, I stayed on in a limited capacity at the YMCA coordinating the arts programs there. At the time, I thought staying at the Y would be a good way for me to stay connected for future career moves.

Lately, it's causing me more stress than my "regular" job.

And it's not because I don't like the Y. I love the Y. I strongly believe in their mission, and the arts' vital role in it.

I just think it's too much. I think it's taking up much more time than I intended, and I think if I'm not careful it could affect my "regular" job, and my personal life too.

I feel like I need to put more time and energy into my "regular" job, to make sure I do a FABULOUS job, and to make sure I'm ready to move to the next stage in my career in the next few years. Whatever that may be... : )

So just prioritize, right? Maybe it's time to say goodbye to working two jobs.

Easier said than done.

I feel like if I leave the Y I am failing, and I feel like I'd be ditching the wonderful staff I've hand-picked and nurtured over the years. It feels like if I left I would be selfish.

But I think I need time for other things.

I need to finish school, for one. And I'd like to take some arts classes myself - get back into all things musical, take a dance class, an art class, a photography class...

And I'd like to have time to visit friends after work. A lot of them have kiddos nowadays (congrats Allison & Aaron on their new arrival - baby Kenyon!) and later evenings no longer work for them. Plus it's just nice to have some downtime in between work and bedtime - where I can have the option to do social things!

And there's spending time with the hubby too. Of course I want to do that... : )

I guess I'm a little overwhelmed. Maybe I'm not Superwoman after all?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Going to the Chapel...

This year has flown by. Really. Just flown by.

Exactly two months from today will be Travis and I's first wedding anniversary.

I don't know if it's because our anniversary is coming up, or because we're in the final stretch before Alison & Noah's wedding this weekend, but I've been feeling pretty nostalgic about our wedding day lately.

It's just so crazy, don't you think? We put SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT into planning this perfect wedding day, and then it's over in a flash! We were so lucky to have a beautiful day and ceremony, fun-filled reception, good food, and were surrounded by much loved friends and family. It was amazing! It is so nuts to me that it's all over and it's already been almost a year.

Now that being said, I'm certainly not downplaying the marriage side of it all!!! Although we've added a dog and a house to our lives this past year, as well as each other, we've had a pretty smooth-sailing first year of marriage. Sure, we bicker like anyone else, but in general we do a really good job of communicating. I am proud of us.

For our first anniversary weekend we've planned a trip to Mackinac Island. I've never been there, and Trav has been a long time ago when he was a kid. We got a great suite at the Mission Point Resort and I can't wait to get out of town and spend some time together! Yeah!

That's all for now. But I'll leave you with some photos from the wedding... you know, because I'm feeling nostalgic and all. The last shot is one of Alison and Noah at our reception -- in just four days we'll be toasting THEM at THEIR wedding reception. So fun!

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Sidewalk Chalk Fun...

So I'm sick at home today, napping in bed and just getting up every couple of hours to check work emails. I am feeling incredibly overwhelmed because I have so much to do this week with work and otherwise, and it's dreary and grey outside with lots of rain. Not a great day to be sick (is any day, really?) and it's all bringing me down.

On a happy note, I wanted to share this video with you, from the Sidewalk Chalk Flood I talked about in my last post. I think it gives you a little more perspective on how cool this event really was.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Let The Sunshine In!

What a beautiful last few days we've had here in Grand Rapids! Talk about perfect weather! Of course, I woke up this morning to grey skies with rain on the horizon, but hey - that's Michigan for you!

On Friday afternoon we had the first in a series of landscapers come out to look at our (disastrous) back yard. With Spring coming, we want to get it fixed up so that a) Bella has as much space as possible to roam and b) We are able to entertain outside. We love to grill and have people over!

On Friday night our friends Adam and Carrie came out to visit and we went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in town, right on the water (no pictures, sorry!). It was a great night, we hadn't seen Adam and Carrie in so long. Carrie's having a baby this summer and looking wonderful - so healthy! Thanks so much, guys, for making the drive out to visit!

Yesterday we spent pretty much the entire day in the sunshine. After running some errands in the morning we joined the Hill Family downtown for... SIDEWALK CHALK FLOOD 2009!

Essentially it was a ton of people, a ton of sidewalk chalk, and a ton of fun! Oh, and a little bit of sunburn mixed in as well. Sunburn!

The adults, chalking it up...

Lily learned how to wave!

Travis and Bella. I LOVE this photo.

Family shots...

In the afternoon we cleaned out the garage (!) and started on some yard work in the FRONT of the house. Not being very knowledgeable when it comes to yard work, I completely underestimated how much time our project would take. We got about a quarter of the work done that we had intended to - not for lack of trying - but because it was a much bigger job that we realized - but that 1/4 looks damn good let me tell you! We're off to get some top soil today to throw onto it before the rain comes...

Today is kind of dedicated to Alison's wedding. We need to run out and get Trav something to wear for the wedding (which will be a joy because Travis just LOVES shopping for clothes! NOT.), we need to get me some silver shoes to wear IN the wedding (I swear I'm not a procrastinator!) and then I need to come home and get my pinata on. Yes, I said pinata. For more info on THAT click HERE and HERE.

Hope you're all having a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Things I'm Into / Things I'm Not

Things I'm Into:

Weight Watchers Brand Key Lime Pie Yogurt

Mackinac Island (June 19, baby!)

65 degree, sunshiney weather in GR today

Tax refunds

The dog park

Real World / Road Rules Challenge: The Dual 2

Soft serve ice cream


Things I'm NOT Into:

American Idol becoming WAY too predictable


Layoffs and budget cuts


Miley Cyrus


What are you into / not into? : )

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Need a Distraction?

Many of you have told me that you enjoy reading my blog as a break in your busy work day, and believe me I know what it's like to need a break! So if you're looking for a little distraction today, check out the following videos... (be sure that your sound is up...)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, Travis and I spent Easter Weekend by ourselves in Grand Rapids. Because we've been so busy lately - it was GREAT to not travel. We spent all of Easter Sunday in our PJ's at home!

We started out our day with a delicious pancake breakfast...

We spent the afternoon on the couch watching the movie "Marley and Me." We had read the book back at Christmastime, but stopped at the last two chapters because it was getting too sad! We knew that ****SPOILER ALEART**** the dog died in the end, and just couldn't handle reading any more!

Anyhow, we finally got around to watching the movie - all the way through. It was hilarious, and soooooo sad. We love our Bella so much (and she is SO like Marley!) that we're going to be just devastated when we lose her. Luckily we have many, many years with her yet.

In the evening we dyed eggs. Yeah, yeah, I know you're supposed to do that BEFORE Easter, but better late than never! We don't really do the whole egg dying thing in England - so the whole thing is kind of novel to me. Trav had to show me how to do it! And he was a good sport by participating as well!

All in all, a lovely weekend! Now it's back to the grind. Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend Part 1

This weekend has been long overdue! A holiday weekend with little to no time sensitive plans, great sunshiney weather, and some much-needed Travis-Joanne time!

We headed out to Calvin College yesterday to watch a rugby game. Some of the players volunteer at the Cook Library Center, one of the facilities my organization oversees, and they held a raffle during the game with all proceeds going to the library. It was a beautiful day to be outside, and both Travis and I, and all the kids, enjoyed it!

Yesterday evening Seth and Kelly came over for the first big cookout of the season. Granted, by the time we actually got food on the grill it was 8:00pm and more than a little chilly out, but it was still fun to celebrate the beginning of good weather, and kick back and relax with good food, drink, and friends.

For the first time since we've known each other we're spending Easter weekend at home by ourselves in Grand Rapids, and with everything being so crazy busy lately, that's hardly a bad thing. Stay tuned for a wrap-up of Easter Sunday Joanne and Travis style! Oh, and Bella wishes you all a Happy Easter, too! (she's sporting her Easter bandana today!)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wrapping Up the Week

On Tuesday Trav and I went to see the 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee (the musical) here in town. It's rare that we get the time to do something like this, especially during the week, but I got free tickets from work so we decided to make a night out of it and do dinner and the show. A DATE if you will : )

I had no idea what to expect. I haven't kept up with Broadway in the last three years or so since I've been working full time and away from the stage. I thoroughly enjoyed this show! It got a little silly at times, but the most part was laugh-out-loud funny, with some great character performances. It was a short show, with no intermission, and even featured three folks from the audience up on stage during the show. I'd highly recommend seeing it if it's in town. For tour dates click HERE.

Unfortunately I don't have the day off work today like a lot of folks, so I'm tying up lots of loose work ends up from home today after surviving the big luncheon I've been working on for weeks yesterday. It was my first pretty much solo event since I've been with GAAH - and everything went really well. I felt like I really came into my own in my role as Director of Development & Communications with this event. Plus, for those of you that know me, you know that I like to plan events big and small -- everything from large fundraising galas to summer BBQ's at home (which there will be a lot of this summer!)

Here are some photos from the event. Special thanks to Kelly B for being an awesome friend and GAAH volunteer for ironing tablecloths and helping set up at 8:00am yesterday morning!

That's it for now. I'm VERY MUCH looking forward to the weekend. No big holiday plans for us, just some R&R, coupled with some Spring cleaning (is that an oxymoron?!)


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bella Love

Now that all of Alison's Bachelorette fun and several busy work weeks are over - we finally have some time to breathe here at the Roehm house.

Poor Travis has been sick for almost two weeks. First with a nasty stomach bug, and then with an aggressive head cold. Needless to say, he has not been a happy camper.

So with me being swamped, and Travis being under the weather, it's safe to say that poor Bella has been a little neglected. And when I say neglected I mean that very loosely. It's not like we didn't feed her or anything like that... : ) ... it's just that she hasn't gotten the exercise she needs and wants lately.

So last night, while the sun was still shining, Travis and I walked Bella down to a local park to play fetch and run her around.

As you can see, Bella was rooting for the Spartans. But we won't talk about how that game turned out... : (

It was nice to get out of the house, spend some time outside, and take in some fresh air - even if it was slightly chilly air! I hope this cold band we've had doesn't kill all the bulbs that have come up already.

By the time we got home we were all exhausted. Bella was chill the entire night. It's true what they say, a TIRED dog is a WELL BEHAVED dog... : )

Monday, April 6, 2009

Alison's Bachelorette Party

I know, I know -- it's been awhile! I have lots of thoughts to share with you, and will do so throughout the week ahead, but today I want to share some stories and photos from Alison's Bachelorette Party that I hosted this past weekend.

We were picked up by a limo in the morning - it was really nice! We enjoyed mimosas on our way to our first location.

Our first stop was a paint your own pottery studio. We each painted a dessert plate for Alison - and she will get to keep the set! We used a color theme of her choice and then painted whatever design we wanted to. I loved doing this!

Our next stop was lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Dundee. Alison and I enjoyed some pomegranate margaritas - yum!

We then made a salon stop. We were late for our appointments so that was a little bit of drama, but at least Alison and her mom got to have some mother-daughter bonding over manicures.

After that, we headed back to Tecumseh for a wine tasting at Pentamere Winery. It was so much fun, and we learned so much about wine! I left the place with four bottles of wine, of course!

For dinner we boarded the Blissfield Dinner Train for dinner and a murder mystery comedy show. It was definitely a unique experience.

Then it was out to Ann Arbor to the Cavern Club - a three story bar. Although it was DEAD when we first got there, we got the party started right and spent most of the night dancing away!

Overall - it was a great day! It was a lot of work, organizing, and planning, but it was well worth it to make sure that Alison enjoyed her "last night of freedom!"