Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wheaton and the Windy City

I had to go to Chicago this week for work...
Katie wanted to go to Chicago to visit Wheaton...
So we decided to go together and make a road-trip out of it!

I will say that things did not go exactly as we planned, but all-in-all, we had a great time. Our adventure began at 5am on Wednesday morning when we flew out of Knoxville with a connecting flight in Charlotte. We got to Charlotte only to find out that our flight to Chicago had been cancelled due to some bad weather in the Windy City. This definitely threw a wrench in our plans as we scrambled to re-schedule meetings at Wheaton that were suppose to take place later that day and also tried to see what our possibilities of getting to Chicago were because my conference started that night at 5pm. Katie got her meetings re-scheduled for Thursday and we got a flight at 11:50am which put us in Chicago with time to take a quick trip to Wheaton and for me to also make my work meeting, whew! Wheaton has a beautiful campus!
Katie is considering going there in the fall to get a Masters in Biblical Studies. This would be a part-time program for the next 3 years which is a big deal! We didn't have as much time as we wanted to explore due to our flight delay, but the campus isn't that big so we were able to see a good portion of it.
On Thursday, I went to my conference during the day and Katie went back to Wheaton for her meetings and an "official" campus tour. That afternoon we took the train into the city. This was something that Katie and I were both a little nervous about doing but pleasantly surprised with how easy it was! We also took the train up to Wrigleyville where we met some girls that Katie may live with and saw their cute apartment. This is the outside:
We then went downtown where we had dinner at Gino's East (the best deep dish pizza in Chicago!) and then back to our hotel for a good night's sleep. Check out the great view from our room at the Hyatt Regency...thank you Priceline!
Friday morning we hit the ground running with our first stop at Navy Pier. It was a little cold but not rainy so we were super thankful for clear skies!
I will say that not much can contend with the Chicago skyline from Navy Pier
Our next stop was Millennium Park. There were flowers blooming everywhere!
Of course, I had to take Katie to the "Bean" :)
Katie seemed a bit confused over what all the fuss of this "Bean" was about, but once she saw it up close, I think was a little more impressed.
We then met up with a high-school friend of mine, Brittany, who went to Wheaton and still lives in Chicago and it was great to re-connect with her and listen to her advice and experiences in the city. Our trip was not as long as we would have liked, but having Katie there and exploring the city with her definitely made my work trip more fun and I think she enjoyed seeing Chicago for the first time too!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Caps and Gowns

Hello friends and the rest of the blog world! I apologize for being away for a bit, but we have been SUPER-CRAZY-BUSY since moving back! Let me catch you up:

Thursday May 12th
My sister, Maggie, graduated from UT with a Masters in Accounting. I am super proud of my smart and beautiful sister who has also already taken the CPA exam and has a job with Crow Horwath that starts in September.
Friday May 20th
My wonderful husband, Alan, graduated from Washington University in Saint Louis with a Masters in Tax Law. It was quite possibly the quickest road-trip we have ever taken, but totally worth it to celebrate this huge accomplishment. Woo Hoo! I am so excited he is finally done! Alan also has a job which he will start this coming Monday at Stone & Hinds law firm in Knoxville. I wonder if dual incomes means an increased shopping allowance for me...hmmm!
We ate dinner the night before Alan's graduation at Annie Gunn's which is a wonderful restaurant in Chesterfield
the all-campus graduation ceremony was held in Brookings Quadrangle-it was beautiful!
all the faculty sat under the pavilion where the speakers addressed everyone from
Alan walking in with his classmates
After the all-campus graduation ceremony, we headed over to the law school where there was a smaller ceremony for just the law school graduates
the law school graduation took place under a beautiful tent on the lawn in front of the law school
all the law school graduates
so proud of my smart husband!
Alan calls Katie (who wasn't able to make the trip) and tells her he is done!
Saturday May 21st
My sister, Christa, graduated from West High School. Wow did this ever bring back some memories! I am so proud of and excited for Christa about going to UT this fall. She has so much to look forward to! Oh college how I miss you!
the arrow points to Christa receiving her diploma from the Principal
the fam
Christa and her fun crazy them!
Christa with "Colin" who is at Marine bootcamp right now and couldn't be here in person, ha!
the fam Colin!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

Happy fifth of May friends! I love any good reason to get together and throw a party! Why shouldn't the celebration of Mexican heritage be one of them?! The sangria was made last night so it could chill and I get off work early today so I can go home and finish the rest of the preparations with my mom. I'm sharing my sangria recipe because it is DELISH! Happy Thursday!
• 1 bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja, Zinfandel, or Shiraz)
• 2 shots of Triple Sec
• Splash of orange juice or lemonade
• 1 lemon, cut into wedges
• 1 lime, cut into wedges
• 1 orange, cut into wedges
• 2 Tbs sugar
• 1 cup raspberries
• 4 12oz cans of Sprite

Mix all ingredients to
gether and chill overnight. Serve in really fun glasses!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hello Knoxville!

It's hard to believe a year ago Alan and I were making plans to move to Saint Louis. Having lived in Knoxville my whole life, I was excited about getting away for awhile, meeting new friends, and exploring a new city. We have had a blast! Now... our year here has come to an end and it's time to move back to Knoxville. We have so much to look forward to! New jobs for both of us, being close to our families, reuniting with friends, and planning to lay down some roots here.
Alan and I hit the jackpot when we found out that U.S. Cellular is going to handle our entire move. I work for the best company ever! I am flying home today, starting my new job tomorrow, movers will come Wednesday to pack up and transport all of our stuff, and Alan will finish his exams and fly home on Saturday. Needless to say, we have a busy week ahead of us!