Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 To-Do List

1) Finish painting the inside of the house, including the living room, guest room, kitchen and guest bathroom

2) Get (more) organized! Starting with that box of random stuff I never really unpacked since moving over a year and a half ago...

3) Work out at least three times a week, even if its only for 10-15 minutes (hey, it's a start)

4) Post to my blog more often

5) Live a greener life

6) Start our family! (we hope!)

Stay tuned to see me attempt this list - and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...

As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, we have conducting a little project entitled Grandpa's house. Tony and I have been living/renting my Grandpa's house in Hoffman Estates, right by Schaumburg, IL, home of Woodfield Mall and lots of other chain stores and corporate headquarters. Let's just say we lack slightly in culture. But we like the house, and we live right by my parents, who are always ready with pizza nights and helping us shovel. :)

However, the house needs work. Unfortunately, my grandparents bought the house from decorating morons, who used contact paper for wallpaper, believed in shag carpeting, and covered an entire wall of the living room with mirrored squares. Yeah, I know. And since my grandparents never did anything different to the decor of the house, I have been spending the last year trying to bring the house back to life. (My parents also have been a great help, especially with the larger projects - wallpaper removal, a new roof, and new carpeting). As we progress along, I'll post updates on the blog.

But over the weekend, we made a big improvement: the mirrored wall is gone! Unfortunately, now we have a strange grid wall that's crying for spackle.

Pretty, isn't it? The good news is that now we have no choice but to start painting the living room. The bad news is we have guests coming over for New Year's Eve, and we HAVE to start painting the living room. For now, we live with the grid, but I'm hoping to start fixing it this weekend.

Oh, and by the way, with the snow that hit Chicagoland last night, it took me over 3 and 1/2 hours to get home. Not that I want to complain too much - my brother and sister-in-law in New Hampshire have been without power since last Thursday. :(

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Fun Begins!

Last weekend, I went to our first holiday party of the season (with plenty more to come!). Tony couldn't make it, due to his finals (given Friday night, due Monday morning), so I tagged along with my mom, dad, and Grandpa to the annual Schulze family party, hosted by my Grandpa's older brother, Uncle Bill. This is my second year going, and every time I have so much fun! I love watching my Grandpa and his siblings (he's one of 9!) get together and see all the spouses, cousins, and kids. The best part is the grab bag, in which we get to steal from one another. In the true Irish Christmas spirit, the Bailey's and other booze-related presents are always passed around the most.

Here are some pictures from the party - enjoy!

My mom, her cousin-in-law Denise, and me - our annual spots in front of the fireplace (note my slightly buzzed smile)

Grandpa mingling and enjoying his family

Grandpa is always the most popular

Aunt Lorrie and Aunt Pat

The Schulze Siblings: (standing) Uncle Jack, Grandpa (Francis), Aunt Lorrie, Aunt Binnie
(sitting) Our host, Uncle Bill

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Busy Busy Busy!

So, if you've been following my little attempt at blogging here, you may have noticed that I've been quite absent. My sister-in-law Allison attempted (and fufilled!) daily blogging last month (visit her at, and I must say, I am in awe. I'm not quite up to the challenge of daily blogging, but it could perhaps be a good New Year's resolution?

We've been quite busy around here. Thanksgiving came and went, and the entire weekend following Turkey Day, Tony and I were sick. Sick as dogs. I spent most of the weekend on the couch, which, every now and then, is a wonderful thing to do.

As for the past week, Tony has been stuck doing nothing but finals prep for both himself and his students, and I have been working between 9 and 11 hour long days, trying to catch up on work and save my students from freaking out about their final papers. December may be the holiday season for the rest of the world, but for academics, it is finals time.

I have managed to put up most of our Christmas decorations, and will post pictures soon - although Wednesday night, I came home to a Christmas tree on the floor in the living room. Apparently, cats and trees don't mix.