Friday, December 24, 2010

tidings of comfort and joy

It's been awhile since our last post. Sorry 'bout that. When we first started our blog we posted pretty regularly with updates about Lucy, Joe's health, life, etc. Everything was interesting. But I've been totally out of the blogging circuit over the past year or so and just can't seem to post regularly. Perhaps it's because I feel that nothing I have to say is very interesting. Perhaps it's because nothing IS interesting. But I'll be making a point to blog more in the coming year. 2011 hasn't begun yet, but I can already tell it's full of excitement! As this year is coming to a close, here is our holiday wish for you:

From the wonderful Southwest, we write this letter
in hopes that you are having a happy holiday season
so far. We know that we don't see you all quite as
often as we would like to (or quite as often as we
should) but you are in our thoughts and prayers this
holiday season and always.

And, as 2010 is coming to a close (isn't it scary
how quickly time flies?), we are reminded of all of
the blessings we have that we sometimes take for

We are blessed with health, jobs, and a roof over our
heads. We are blessed with freedoms many people
long for. We are blessed with the hope for a better
tomorrow. We are blessed with seriously the most
perfect beagle in the universe! :-) We are blessed
with amazing family and friends like you. We are
blessed with love and happiness. We are blessed
with each other.

There are so many things to be thankful for and we
hope all hopes that your holidays and coming year
are filled with countless more blessings of peace,
happiness, hope, joy, and neverending love...

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Theresa, Joe, and Lucy

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Check out our teardroppings HERE!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

lucy's a hipster

And by "hipster", I mean she is semi-bohemian, rejects mainstream culture, and prides herself on being independent and "cool". And she wears sunglasses.

Nah...just kidding. I means she has hip dysplasia.

And, even though she's already endured ringworms, a torn dewclaw, getting attacked by a bigger dog and needing stiches, an enlarged spleen and elevated liver enzymes, and tick fever...we can now add hip dysplasia to the list.

And she's only 3!

And what's more interesting is that half of these things have happened right before big events or vacations. She got attacked by a dog the night before we took a trip to New England last year. She has some sort of scary episode (which turned out to be a result of tick fever) on Christmas Day last year, right before we were supposed to take a trip to California. And she now has hip dysplasia, right before we are supposed to go to New England again. Is this a sign? Is she trying to tell us she doesn't want us going anywhere?

Hip dysplasia, in a nutshell, occurs in the hip joint when the femoral head (the ball) and the acetabulum (the socket) do not fit together or function perfectly. In essence the top of the femur and the socket create a lot of friction and damage due to being shaped differently and not having enough tissue, muscle, or ligaments to support the joint. And because tissue, muscle, and ligaments do not properly support the joint, the femur and socket continue to separate from each other which causes addition friction and damage which results in further changes in the size and shape of the joint. It can develop at any age. It's common in large and giant breed dogs (or dogs who are overweight). It is not necessarily common in beagles, but it is common in pure breeds when there is a genetic predisposition for the condition.

We noticed over the weekend that she took a million years to climb stairs and completely stopped jumping altogether. There was one point where I hugged her and she shrieked like it was the most painful thing she ever felt. Made my blood curdle. So we set up an appointment on Monday afternoon and a few tests, xrays, and hundreds of dollars later, we were presented with the hip dysplasia diagnosis. So sad. I just want to hug her all the time because I feel like she is so defenseless. She's the sweetest thing in the world! She's very independent and not always cuddly or affectionate, but she loves everyone so much and gives the best hugs!!

The only thing I have left to say is that I really hope Lucy can get through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years without any new ailments. I don't think that's too much to ask, is it?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The mother of a friend passed away suddenly last week. Without warning, she was just gone. Young, beautiful and healthy, she was a wife, sister, friend, mother, grandmother. Gone.

I seriously can not imagine.

At all!

Joe and I went to her memorial service tonight and we were blown away by how beautiful it was. I’ve known my friend since grade school and did lose touch for awhile, so there are countless memories of her and her mother that I am completely unaware of. But I can tell you now that one of my memories of her is that she was so incredibly loved. You should have seen all the people there to celebrate her life! It was amazing. And another memory is that she created one of the most awesome families on the planet. Listening to the words of her loved ones tonight, I am saddened that I don't have more memories of her than I do.

And my heart breaks for those she left behind, for the memories that will take place without her, for the grandchildren she will never see grow up into beautiful adults. But it is clear how rich and full her life has been and it is evident that her presence still shines in all of them...and always will.

God's plan (or whomever your "higher power" may be) is always a mystery. Always. And a sudden event like this reminds me how FRAGILE, but also how IMPORTANT life is. And it reminds me that we should always make known to our friends, family, and loved ones how much we care for them and love them. Cherish every single moment and every single memory that you have...for you never know when that next hug or that next smile or that next shared laugh will be your last.

I send my continued thoughts, love and prayers to my friend and her family during this time. And I send my love and peace to you all...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

the elephants have come and gone

The fact that our last blog entry was 4 months ago is abominable. My entry about The Cove yesterday doesn't count because it was my attempt at a PSA. So I count the last true McGresa blog entry as June 23rd. Really? It's October people!! What in the name of all that is holy have we been doing since then?


I remember talking about the elephants walking down the street in downtown Phoenix. That means our circus adventure has come and gone and obviously those elephants are long gone as well. But they were so cute. The circus was actually super entertaining altogether and I'm really glad that we all went. I really like the elephants, but the tigers were actually pretty amazing, too, because there was a big circular cage with one man and nine tigers. saw that right. NINE tigers. ONE man. That guy has some major cojones, I'll tell you that much! I think my favorite part of the circus, though, was the motorcycle cage ball thingiedoo. There was one point when the cage had 7 bikes riding around and around. Utterly amazing. So, just as a quick summary - the circus was AWESOME!

Also...remember me talking about those pounds I lost? Yeah. Definitely gained some of them back. Not all of them. Not even half of them. But definitely a few. So my goal of losing 50 pounds in one year was not reached. Oh well...the fight goes on, right?

I also remember talking about my jury duty experience a little bit, too. Well, I was NOT picked as I mentioned before and the trial was the State of Arizona against a young man accused of child abuse and the first degree murder of a 13-month old child. Apparently, from what I gather of the story, he and his girlfriend had a child together. Then they split up at some point and the girl got pregnant again by another man. Then the young man got back together with this girl and now they were taking care of both his child and the other man's child. Confused? Yeah. Well, anyway. He was accused of allegedly killing the child that was NOT his biological child but the 6-week-or-so-long trial ended up being declared a mistrial because the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict. In this case, preparations for a second trial were discussed but the young man ended up pleading guilty to manslaughter and will be sentenced at the end of this month. But manslaughter? That's it? Ugh.

In case you are curious about some of the case details, you can find more information here and here. In case you are not curious in the slightest, please press onward...

In addition to that, to name a few things that have happened since June:
  1. we saw the Twilight Saga's Eclipse and Joe loved it
  2. we went camping on Mingus Mountain
  3. we went camping on Mount Lemmon
  4. we babysat Lucy's boyfriend, Yuma
  5. Joe took his FIRST trip to California!
  6. we went camping on Mingus Mountain a second time and literally within 20 minutes of starting to set up camp Lucy had already dug up a squeaky ball she buried when we camped there 2 months earlier
  7. Theresa sang in the wedding of a lifelong friend and biffed up one of the songs that had a Spanish verse (which really isn't the WORST thing in the world except for the fact that 90% of the people at the wedding spoke Spanish!)
  8. Theresa celebrated her 2 year anniversary with University of Phoenix
  9. Joe celebrated his 3 year anniversary with Powill Mfg & Eng
  10. Joe ALSO celebrated his 2 year anniversary of having a new kidney (WOO HOO!!!)
  11. Lucy celebrated her 3rd birthday (crazy!!)
  12. we started preparing and planning to build a teardrop trailer...and we can't WAIT until we are able to camp in it!!

More things have happened since June, but that's all that comes to mind right now because we have to get going and take Lucy to the park for a play date with her boyfriend. Hope you enjoyed the quick recap of our crazy past 4 months. Hope you all are well.

T and Joe and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Fur

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the cove

Last night, I made the mistake of watching "The Cove", the 2009 Oscar winning documentary. I take that back, though. I definitely wouldn't call it a "mistake" that I watched this because, while hard to process at times, it actually told a story with a rather important message, a message about taking a stand for the preservation of the beauty and sanctity of life.

(taken from The Cove website):
"Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action. THE COVE is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Fisher Stevens. The film is written by Mark Monroe. The executive producer is Jim Clark and the co-producer is Olivia Ahnemann."

Dolphins and porpoises, though? Yeah...I honestly never even thought of them much before. But watching this, and seeing footage and reading about the slaughter of these animals, my stomach turns just thinking about it. But look how far away from Japan I am! What can I do? Donate? Protest? Spread the word? Sign the petition? And...does it really matter?

I really think it does.

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth." — Henry Beston

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

unloading the elephants

And by "elephants", I don't mean me. I'm looking less like an elephant every day, as a matter of fact. I started a diet regime last November and actually lost about 27 pounds by January. In February I started the regime a second time and lost 10 more pounds. I ended up being TERRIBLE at keeping the weight off and gained back the 10 pounds I lost in the "second round" and then some. of today, right here and now, I'm down 36 pounds total as of last November. If I didn't gain back those 10+ pounds, I would have been down at least 46 pounds already, but 36 isn't bad. Not bad at all. And my goal is to lose an even 50. Think I can do it by November?

Anyway...back to the real elephants.

I was in downtown Phoenix yesterday for jury duty (more on that later) and at one point I had to ride the juror shuttle from the courthouse back to the parking garage. As we turned one of the corners downtown, we saw the Ringling Bros. circus train unloading the elephants right near the US Airways Arena (which is where the circus will be performing this weekend). How cool is that? I seriously thought that I was seeing things and had to do a "double take". But sure enough, right there in front of the shuttle, the elephants were being unloaded from the train and onto the street. It was so freakin' neat to see that! And it really got me excited to see the circus. We're going this Sunday and Joe said that he went to the circus once before when he was a kid, but it will be a first ever experience for the rest of us. I can't wait!

Now...back to jury duty.

Last Thursday, I had to report for jury duty. I had been summoned before and never had to report, but this time I actually did. So I was prepared for a really boring day. The morning definitely dragged a little, but by 10:30 that morning, they called a group of about 60-70 people to go up to a courtroom. We were all given juror numbers and shuffled into the courtroom where the judge, the defense and the state/prosecution were already assembled. The judge briefed us on the general charges against the defendant and stated that the trial was scheduled to last for at least six weeks. Craziness.

Thursday ended up flying by. After they did the initial screening/releasing anyone who was physically not able to commit to six weeks, then they had us complete a questionnaire answering questions about our life experiences. Some of the questions included giving information about our own employment and personal experiences, the employment/personal experiences of family and friends, and listed all members involved in the case to determine whether or not we knew anyone involved in the trial. Some of the questions were not as personal and asked about our hobbies, what we read, if we understand what we're getting into, etc. The questionnaire was long. It took about an hour to complete the whole thing. After we were finished we were instructed to not discuss any of the details of the case to anyone and to report back the following Tuesday. And I actually did REALLY GOOD at keeping my mouth shut.

Okay. Fast forward to yesterday. Yesterday (Tuesday), I had to report again for the voir dire. Voir dire, as far as I know, is the step in the trial process where the lawyers have a chance to actually speak with the remaining jurors to clarify any questions they had about the completed questionnaires. This voir dire is used to further help the laywers in their selection process and it's a way for them to clarify whether any jurors might have potential biases and, therefore, be unfit as an "impartial" juror. I wasn't called upon because apparently my answers to the questions were clear enough, but they interrogated some of the other jurors in order to clarify those concerns.

For example, there was one woman who had witnessed a crime before, so they had her clarify how long ago it was, what happened, if she can remove that from her mind to be impartial in this case, etc. She said it happened about 15 years ago and that everything was fine and she would definitely be impartial in this case. In addition, there was a man who had a nasty divorce and directly discussed the animosity he felt towards his lawyer as well as his ex-wife's lawyer. Everything about this man screamed "wacko". He kept going on about how the lawyers handled things poorly and he ended up firing his, etc. But then, of course, he ended by saying that he would definitely be impartial in this case. Every juror, no matter what their life experience was, always said that they would definitely "be impartial". Of course people are going to say that! Because they want to be picked! But I don't care how much that guy sugar-coated things...he obviously hates lawyers, so what lawyer would want him on the case?

This process actually frustrated me a bit because no matter how many people say that they'll be 100% impartial, it's not always 100% true. Especially in the case of Crazy I-Hate-Laywers Man. And the questions the lawyers asked were mainly leading questions which required really only one-word answers. How much can you really learn about a person if you're asking the wrong questions and leading them to the answer anyway? If it was up to me, I'd hire a court-appointed psychologist to the jury selection because this process has shown me that the lawyers might not always be picking people who will be "impartial"...even though that's what they are supposed to be doing.

Anyway, I didn't get picked, so now I can talk about the case if I want, so here's the info:

Type: Criminal.
Length: 6 weeks (at least).
Defendant: A young man from Gilbert, AZ (he seriously looked like he was 14 years old...but I think he's 22 or 23).
Prosecution: State of Arizona.
Charge: Child abuse and first degree murder of a 13-month old child.

Ummm...yeah. The evidence/pictures alone would probably have made my stomach turn. Even though it felt like a blow that I wasn't picked, I guess you could say that I'm actually glad they didn't pick me. Crazy, huh? At least now I won't get summoned for at least another 18 months!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

travel ambitions

Remember my post last year about places that I want to go in my lifetime?

Didn't think so. :-)

You can view that post here but, more importantly, I have realized that I want to update the list. I realize that some of these places are expensive considering we can't even afford the cost for a trip to New England! So I guess you could consider these somewhat lofty dreams...but daydreams are so nice, aren't they?

Salzburg, Austria

New Zealand

Rome and Vatican City

Alaska (via cruise)

Cannon Beach, OR

Santorini (and any of the Cyclades)


(okay, I know we already put Alaska, but the Northern Lights are just so awesome!)

Great Britain

Paris, France

Delft, Netherlands

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

bye, bye twenties

George Carlin on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!"

You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key. You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. "How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16!

And then the greatest day of your life . . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . . YOU BECOME 21. . . YEAS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk. He TURNED, we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40.

Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 . . . and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime.

And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I was JUST 92." Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

Retrieved from:

This makes me laugh. Ahhh, aging. With this in mind, I just have to say "Bye bye, twenties...You've really been good to me!" I graduated college, lived in Nantucket, traveled, moved to Boston, worked at Cheers, recorded a CD, met my wonderful Joe, taught myself graphic design and web design, saw a real live moose, traveled some more, ended up back in AZ, got my first dog who is the greatest dog in the world, landed a pretty awesome job, got married, started my graduate degree. Hmmm. Not bad, I guess. :o) I hope the next thirty years are even better...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

city island

I forgot to post about this a couple weeks ago when I saw this movie, but I have to post it now.

City Island.

This movie is about a family who lives on City Island, which is an island right near the Bronx (slightly Northeast of Manhattan).

This family seriously has issues. Everyone seems to be hiding a secret from everyone else. The premise is actually a little disheartening because it's sad how many lies and secrets are told. The plotline, however, was extremely entertaining and the film was full of ridiculously hilarious moments that had me in stitches as well as moments that were truly endearing. I had never seen a preview for this film and had no idea what it was about other than being about a family on City Island. So I was pleasantly surprised at how awesome this movie is.

I highly recommend go see it. Don't ask, just go. It's amazing.

Friday, May 14, 2010

can't resist, sorry...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

alive and kickin'

Hey everyone!

I know it's been quite a while since we last blogged it up on our site, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to procrastinate my homework a little longer and type up a blog because it's really depressing to me that our last one was three months ago. That's just ridiculous. So...

Everything has been going well. Joe, Lucy and I are all good. That is all.

Bye, and thanks for reading!!

he he he

Kidding. Here goes...
  • Camping - Joe and I went camping in Tucson for our Anniversary in February and ended up getting snowed out. We were camped at a place towards the bottom of Mt. Lemmon, but decided to drive up towards the top of the Mountain to sight see and walk around only to be greeted by an impending snow storm. It was crazy. A heck of a lot of fun. But crazy. When we drove back down to our campsite, it was raining heavily with a little bit of snow/slush mixed in, so instead of sticking it out and getting hypothermia, we packed up and went to a hotel for the night. We were able to go camping again in April, though. Mom and dad, Joe, Lucy and I went up near Prescott and camped up there. It was WONDERFUL! I love camping so much. It's a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of Phoenix, spend time with nature and each other, and relax. And making campfires is fun, too.
  • Snow - Joe and Lucy Fur and Alanna and I were fortunate enough to get up north before the winter season was over and played around in the snow. And Flagstaff is so much fun! We spent some time sledding up at the Wing Mountain Play Area just outside of Flag and drove up to Snow Bowl, too. I can't wait until winter again! (and yes...I know it's just barely May).
  • Camera - My camera was stolen at the annual Ostrich Festival in Chandler. Joe, Alanna and I had finished watching a freak show (yeah...interesting) and were walking towards the ostrich races when I realized I had left my camera on the seat. We were gone for only a couple minutes and it was already gone. No one turned it in either. I'm just thankful there were only a few pictures on it. There was one of Joe eating an ostrich burger, so I apologize for those whi were looking forward to seeing that. :-) On a side note, though, I am so disgutsed by the fact that this camera, which was a gift from Joe for Christmas just FIVE MONTHS AGO, is nowhere to be found. Why in God's name do there need to be so many camera models made all the time. I love this camera and apparently will never have another one because it has literally vanished from all existence and is NOWHERE to be found. Why do they have to discontinue cameras so quickly just to make new models that will be discontinued in 6 months anyway?
  • School - I finally started my master's program and am just finishing up my second course. I've been doing really well, so far (whenever I don't procrastinate) and am actually enjoying learning again. The course I am in right now is called Life-Span Development and it has mainly brushed up on some things I already knew from my undergrad studies, but it's just really interesting to speak with a facilitator who is actually in the field and to learn from what she has to say. The topics are interesting as well. Most recently I have examined my own family tree on both my father's and mother's sides and analyzed different traits of each person to help in determining which characteristics are hereditary and which are a result of environmental factors. I'm probably boring you, so I'll just end by saying that I'm actually liking it a little more than I thought I would.
  • Family visit - Joe's mom, sister Jen and nephew Jason just came out to Arizona for a visit a couple weeks ago. Jason is looking into attending a school out here in the Phoenix area so they came for a tour and to see Joe and Theresa and Lucy...the most amazing Phoenicians who ever lived. :-) We hung out, walked around Papago Park, played with Lucy Fur, and just had a good time. It is so nice having visitors so please come back! And anyone who wants to come visit, just give us a heads up and we'll get the guest room set up for ya!!
  • Lucy -Lucy is doing well. She apparently needs long-term medication for her tick fever because it's still in her little body. But she isn't just a lump of fur anymore. She eats normally, is very playful at times, and is fairly healthy overall. But she has to take daily meds for six months. She'll go in for another check up later this year, at which point they will determine if they can lower the dosage or create another treatment plan. But overall, she's good. She's still pretty calm, but does have so normal beagle energy, so that's good. Poor beagle. Stupid little tick. What did she ever do to you?
  • People and the never-ending quest to understand them - I am amazed by people and technology. What it is even more amazing is how people use technology. For example, technology is used for things such as relaying big news to family/friends in a quick and easy manner. It is used to keep in touch with long lost friends and rebuild friendships from years past. It is also "break up" with friends. Sending hateful emails to friends and family, deleting people as friends from Facebook, ostracizing family/friends by blocking them from each other. Technology, while I love it and understand how it is helpful (for doing things like blogging!), has sometimes become an avenue where people lead such passive-aggressive lives. It's kind of ridiculous.
  • Work - On a lighter note, work has been going well for both Joe and I. I actually really like my job. One thing that happened recently that was a little sad, however, is that the team I have worked with over the past year and a half (or so) was taken away from me. :-( Sad. The entire division was reorganized. It takes me time to build friendships and working relationships with people...especially on a team where there were already "issues" when I first came on board. But relationships are not just an automatic thing for me. I don't meet someone and instantly become in sync with them. And it definitely took awhile for everyone on our team to work well together. Finally, a year and a half later, when we are on a roll, working super well together as as high performing team...surprise! See ya later guys. They switched us around and now we're no longer together. While I know I will still see my old teammates regularly and while I know my new teammates will be good to work with as well, it's still just sad because of the amount of effort I put in to that team. We were like a little family of sorts. I liked them so much! All I have to say is that my new teammates have some pretty big shoes to fill. As for Joe...I know Joe likes his job, too (for the most part! he he), and is also thinking of possibly going back to school within the next couple years as well. So work is good. We have jobs and can pay bills. So that's good enough for me!
  • Books - I decided to start a book review blog. I only have one review so far, but seriously. Check it out. This book is awesome. And I know this was written MONTHS ago when I didn't have too much going on and there will definitely be more to come, but don't judge. Just read.
  • Joe - Joe told me to make sure that I add in here a quick note for him because he wants everyone knows how much he loves me. How sweet! :-)
Phew! How was that for procrastinating? :-) Have a great weekend everyone! Hope all is well...


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

blogging it up!

Here are some updates on the Arizona McGowan clan.

For a reminder of Lucy Fur's latest health debacle, glance through our previous post. Christmas and the two weeks that followed were a pretty tense time on the Lucy front, actually. But after almost two thousand dollars' worth of testing (and a stressful holiday), they concluded that she had tick fever. The valley fever results came back negative, thank GOODness. They put her on a special bland diet, liver booster pills, probiotics, and antibiotics (why the probiotics and antibiotics don't cancel each other out, is beyond me) and then, after follow up testing, decided to keep her on the bland diet along with doxycycline for the tick fever. We will be having her 6 week follow up this week, at which time we will see if the liver enzymes have reduced (meaning less treatment) or not (meaning long term treatment plan is needed). Will keep you posted.

In addition to paying for vet visits and beagle meds, we also needed to buy a new car. When I say "new car" I mean new for us....not brand new as in "never been owned before". Over the holidays, Joe's truck finally went kaput. For good this time. And after researching different options, he decided that it wasn't worth the money that it would take to fix it. Sad. I actually really liked that little truck! And also, it's a royal pain in the REAR to have to get a new vehicle. But we ended up looking around to see what was out there in the used department. My dad actually found an SUV that was for sale and parked in the parking lot of where my Granny (mom's mom) moved to. 2002 Mitsubishi Montero, ES Sport, low miles, one owner, maintained really well, minor blemishes, decent asking price. After we test drove it, it was a done deal! Here's a pic. We call him Monty.

And I really hope we don't have to get another car for a LONG time!!

Our year has gotten off to a rotten start as far as camping is concerned. We didn't go AT ALL in the month of January!! To our defense, we had outrageous vet bills plus a new car to buy. BUT...we are FINALLY going camping in a couple weeks to celebrate our first anniversary. SO WEIRD!!! It literally feels like yesterday you were all here to help celebrate the start of our marriage. And as cliche as this sounds, time really does fly by when you're having fun. It's definitely been a stressful year at times, but the fact that we don't hate each other yet is good news, right? :-)

Et Cetera:
  • We went to the most AWESOME Polish Restaurant last weekend with the family. I don't think I've had authentic polish food since my grandma Bubba (dad's mom) was alive. She used to make the most yummy Golabki. And pierogies have ALWAYS been a favorite. This place was amazing. It's called A Touch of Europeon Cafe. Check it out!!!
  • I don't even want to tell you all how much weight I've gained over the past 4 years. It's quite disgusting, actually. But I started a diet in November and I've lost about 27 pounds since then. I've been off the diet for about a month now, but I'll be starting again in a few weeks. I'm not quite at my goal weight yet and I know it'll be a neverending struggle, but I'm happy that I've been able to stick with it. Can't wait to lose about a million more!!
  • Last, but certainly not least, I am finally Finally FINALLY starting my masters program in a couple weeks. Crazy, huh? It's been almost 10 years since I finished my bachelor's degree and I've struggled with finding the motivation to continue for quite some time, actually. But, since I'm an academic counselor and I speak with students every day, trying to remind them of the importance of continuing their education, I find it quite hypocritical that I don't "practice what I preach." You know what I mean. All in all, I'm scared that I might fail and I'm nervous about how much time I'll have to spend. But I'm also excited about learning more about what I'm interested in and I'm looking forward to having another degree to fall back on. It's going to be hard and I might tell you all (at some point) that I want to quit. But, please....don't let me!!

I hope you are doing well.....we love and miss you all.....and to those we haven't seen in a while, we hope to see you soon!!
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