Sunday, April 26, 2009

What's Brewing With Janeric?

Hi All-

I wanted to let you all know that my fabulous husband and I have teamed up for some blogging. We have started a new blog: "What's Brewing with JANERIC?" which you can find at

Or by clicking on the blog links I have listed here. I will of course remain "Jano Fabulous" and Eric's blogging handle is "Brewmaster E". I will still blog here now and then, but most updates that concern "us" will likely be posted on the janeric blog. Hopefully now that there are two authors we can keep you better updated.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wedded Bliss

So I am finally getting around to blogging. Needless to say things have been a little busy lately. Eric and I got home very late last Tuesday night, and getting up for work on Wednesday was a very rude awakening. We have been home for nearly a week now, and things are starting to get back to normal.

This is how the last few weeks have gone down. I headed to C-U/Gibson City after work the Wednesday before the wedding, and Eric came down on Friday. We went to get our marriage license (perhaps the most pleasant and organized governmental form/requirement/license thing ever) and then the two of us had a nice relaxing lunch and a beer at Crane Alley. In the evening we met everyone for the rehearsal, again relatively relaxed and painless, and then we all headed to Jupiter Pizza & Billiards for the rehearsal dinner. It was delicious and lots of fun to get our friends and families together.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, and turned out to be the only good weather day for weeks. Nikki and Jenn came to my hotel room to get ready, and my hairdresser, Beth, did everyone's hair. Beth totally rocks... everyone LOVED their hair. We all headed out to my friends Jeanne & Ted's house in St. Joseph for family/wedding party pictures. The weather was great, a tiny bit cool but pleasant and sunny, and their Victorian house made for some great photo ops. Our photographer was a trooper and managed to get all the pictures we wanted and then some. We can't wait to see them. Pictures went remarkably smooth given the amount of people involved. And Jeanne & Ted get major kudos for letting us use their house, especially since Jeanne had been working her butt off all week as our florist.

The families headed off to the wedding, while the wedding party hung around for a few more pictures and made another picture stop at the arboretum. It was just amazing how wonderful the weather was... God so blessed our day in many ways. The ceremony was wonderful... thanks Pastor Andy! Jeanne amazed us with all of the flowers, and everything went perfectely. On the way to the wedding Jenn & Nik asked me if I was nervous, if I was going to cry etc. and I said I was totally fine but who knew what would happen when we got down to business. I could be the most stoic bride ever, or be bawling like a total baby. Turned out I was a total "swayer" (this doesn't surprise me... I love to fidget) and I was relatively calm and totally enjoying it. Eric was a little misty-eyed at first and I was fine until I got a little weepy during our vows, but Eric just squeezed my hand and just gave his "I've gotcha" look and all was well.

The reception was great fun, but pretty much a total blur. My friend Kortny gave us some great advice that she and her husband, Jeremiah received... to sit back at the reception together and just try to soak it all in since it all goes so fast. Right after we finished dinner, while everyone else was finishing up Eric and I did just that. We sat there with our heads together and just looked out over the room at all of our friends and family. After dinner the DJ kicked up the tunes and we all danced the night away. It was THE best day ever!!!!

Sunday morning dawned all too soon and Eric and I hit the road just after 6 a.m. to drive to Indy to catch our plane to Ft. Lauderdale (via Detroit...ughh... thanks Northwest). The early flights were a blessing as we left before the snowstorms arrived. We got to our hotel in Ft. Lauderdale just after 5, went downstairs for nice dinner and then crashed for the next 13 hours. Monday we got up, had breakfast and then headed to Port Everglades. We got there just after noon, and were on board enjoying a fruity cocktail just after 12:30. This was Eric's fifth cruise, but my first. We have decided... it won't be our last... I HEART CRUISING!!!!
It really was a relaxing vacation. Our cabin wasn't huge, but far bigger than I was expecting and had lots of storage space. I got my sea legs relatively quickly and had no sea sickness. One night the seas were a tiny bit rough, and I felt just a little dizzy so we skipped the show, but other than that all was great.

Our first night at dinner we had three other couples at our table. Two of the guys talked real estate all night, and we were unable to chat with the one couple we may have had some common interests with. It wasn't all that great, and we managed to scare everyone off. One couple moved to the early seating as she didn't like to eat late, the one couple requested a table for two and we never saw the other couple again. It worked out for the best because the next night we were seated with Todd (just a few years younger than us) from Toronto, Canada, his "mum" Lynn and his 14-year old daughter, Anna. They were delightful and we all enjoyed dinner together all week and hung out some on the Lido Deck as well. The third night we were joined by Georgeen and Claudia from Baton Rouge. They worked at a Dr's office together for more than 25 years, and their employer had given each of them a cruise. They had been placed at "romantic" table for two and that totally weirded them out, and didn't allow them to meet new friends so they requested a table change and joined us the rest of the week. They were delightful and the seven of us had the best time at dinner each night. Our waiter, Alexander was great and we became very attached to our busboy/assistant waiter, Sigit, and our "wine guy" aka beverage server, Edwin. The food was amazing and the service impeccable... I miss having them put my cloth napkin in my lap.

The shows each night were lots of fun, and Eric and I often stopped at Sam's Piano Bar after each show and got to know the piano player, Peter Rossetti. We were there the first night and he chatted with us, and then remembered us every night and always played us a Billy Joel song when we came in. The "Piano Man" was great, and at the end of the week he got a great tip from us, and we came home with his CD.

The ports of call were great. After two and half days at sea our first port was Panama. In Panama we took a bus trip along the canal to the Pacific Ocean, stopping to see several ships travel through the Miraflores Locks. Our guide gave us all sorts of U.S. history about the Canal Zone. We returned to the Atlantic Ocean via a train ride along the canal. The canal was really cool and it was great to see two oceans in just over an hour.

The next day we stopped in Costa Rica. Our excursion to the coffee plantation was cancelled because it didn't fill up, so instead we took another excursion where we stopped at a banana plantation, took a short train ride along the edge of the rain forest, and then a boat ride along the river. The boat ride was awesome... we saw sloths, howler monkeys, iguanas, bats, egrets, a cayman and lots of birds. It was even fun when our boat lost its steering and everyone starting singing "Row Row Row Your Boat" as we waited for another boat to pick us up. After a mini-buffet of fresh local fruits (the best watermelon I have ever had) we headed back to the ship.

The next day we were at sea, and then on Easter Sunday we stopped in Belize. We took another river cruise where we saw a crocodile, manatees, more bats and monkeys and then had lunch and a Belikin beer at a local resort before heading to Altun Ha, which are Mayan ruins. Altun Ha was very interesting and impressive but we mostly admired from a far as it was about 95 and humid and the heat was definitely getting to me.

We only saw our cabin steward twice the entire week, but he kept our cabin spotless. And he left us a new towel animal every night.

One day we took a wine/food pairing class at the ship's supper club. It was lots of fun and we learned a lot. The somalier who taught the class was very interesting. No worries, beer is still our favorite... but we did enjoy wine with our dinner every night. On Saturday night we went to the supper club, Nick & Nora's, for dinner. There was a fee to go but all of the food was free. It was a great way to celebrate our one week anniversary. The service was above and beyond and we shared a great bottle of wine... and the somalier remembered us from the wine/food pairing a few days before and was impressed I remembered what he taught me. We had surf-n-turf and it was an amazing lobster and one of the best filets I had ever had. The dessert was by the far the best I had ever had. I can't begin to describe it, but it was four different chocolate tortes/parfaits/desserts. It was incredible.

By far the best part of the cruise was spending 8 days with my husband. We did lots of things, but also spent lots of time just hanging out together. Talking, sharing, dreaming... I am so excited we get to spend the rest of our lives together.

Oh, one bonus of the cruise was taking "Flat Stella". My friend Sidney's 2nd grade class is learning about geography by sending their "flat friends" all over with various friends and family members. Nik took Stella to Florida for spring training and we took her on the cruise. Stella loved it. Besides the pictures for Sidney and her class we took a few pictures for Sidney's mom & dad, Jenn & John's entertainment. Let's just say Stella enjoyed the bar :)

Stayed tuned as we are working on blog for both Eric & I. I will keep you posted as to its development... no pun intended.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Showered with March Madness

So I am finally sitting down to catch up on some blogging.

Eric and I ordered Happy Joe's pizza for dinner and are hunkered in watching some basketball. Besides being all cute, handsome, caring and my best friend, Eric comes complete with a big TV that makes for much improved March Madness viewing than what I am used to.

A couple of weekends I headed to my parents house/CU for a long weekend. Friday I spent the day doing various wedding errands and then spent the night at my Mom & Dad's house along with my matron of honor Jenn, and her parents. Jenn flew in from Colorado Springs for the weekend just to throw a shower for me, along with Nikki aka Maid of Honor and Jenn's Mom, Bernice. I was very touched that she made the trip just one month before she does again with John and the girls for the wedding.

The shower was awesome. It was at Silver Creek restaurant in the greenhouse and Bernice, Jenn and Nik went above and beyond. The gifts were wonderful, but by far my favorite part was getting caught up with friends and family and also getting my family, Eric's family, and our various friends together to get to know each other before the wedding. It was lots of fun and bodes well for a fun and exciting wedding reception in a few weeks. Here is the only picture that made it to my camera... Jenn took the rest on hers. I am with my Busey buddies Judy and Linda and my former Busey co-worker Lindsey and her twin sister, Meredith.

A few of my favorite presents include a beautiful glass cardinal my Auntie Ann gave me from her own glass collection, knowing how much Eric and I love Cardinals. Also, my Aunt Mona gave me a Cardinals magnet and a deviled egg plate (we just so happen to have a plated ledge in our kitchen)... which were gifts completely inspired by her late son/my late cousin, Bruce who was my special friend/Cardinal buddy and had a deviled egg plate collection of his own.

After the shower I spent the afternoon/evening/night shopping, hanging out, and enjoying cocktails with Jenn, Nikki and my friend/former roommate, Jeanne. No crazy bachelorette party antics, just good times with great friends. I am truly blessed to have three such awesome friends who though they are completely different from one another, and really don't have all that much in common as far as their daily lives are concerned they all get along great and we had so much fun together.

That Sunday after breakfast with Jenn & Nik, Nik and I headed to Siegel for a baby shower for our friend, Karen. We had just seen her the day before at my shower but it was fun to get caught up with Karen's friends and family too. Karen is looking great and I think motherhood is really going to agree with her.

Sunday after the shower I stopped in Peoria and picked up Eric who spent the weekend with Scott and the rest of the Barkers.

Since then life has been relatively routine with the exception of trying to finish up various wedding details. I think things are relatively under control, and Eric and I are both getting excited for our bid day, and then our cruise the following week. After two moves, adjusting to working from home, and the wedding rush we are ready for a vacation.

Oh, yesterday was a big day. The sale of my house in Champaign closed. My attorney handled it all for me so I didn't have to make another trip to C-U. It went smoothly and the money is in the bank. Eric and I are both so thankful the house is sold, especially before the wedding. We know the quick and easy sale was truly a gift from God. We prayed and prayed about where we should live and if/when we should look for jobs and look for a new house and list me house. Everything in that arena just seemed to fall into place and we know it has all been a "God Thing".

I am not sure if I will blog again before the wedding or not. We are also toying with the idea of renaming or editing this blog to provide for both of us to post. Oh, speaking of blogs Nikki has started one... "In the Nik of Time" (title was my idea:)) and the link is on the right side of this page. She will be heading to Florida for Spring training soon so be sure to check out updates from Florida.

Okay, time to watch the Illini

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rough Week, but a Good Weekend

Last week was a little rough at Janeric Hills (I am trying to come up with a name for our house... so I will test out a few here and there). Between Eric's asthma acting up, and a visit from the flu fairy and her magic congestion wand. By late Thursday and Friday we were on the mend, but seriously I don't think I have ever used so many Puffs Plus in my life.

Saturday morning we got up early and headed to C-U... the first time I had been back since I moved six weeks ago. We met with our wedding DJ and that went really well... I think we are both getting excited about getting to boogie down with our friends and family in 5 weeks. Next we stopped by my house and packed up the few things we had left behind to helps show the house. It is officially empty and ready for the closing later this month.

Afterwards we had planned to meet Nikki for lunch, but she too was a little under the weather so we picked up a bucket of chicken and hung out at her apartment for the afternoon with her parents. It was nice to just chill and get caught up.

Saturday evening I went to dinner with some of my best girls from my church, Quest United Methodist. It was lots of fun and I shared with them how life in Geneseo is going. I will admit that I am a little sad to being leaving such a wonderful faith community behind... okay a lot sad... but I know God will guide Eric and I in establishing a great faith community here. We don't necessarily have all the details figured out, but are trusting God's plan is far better than anything we could imagine. While I was out with the girls, Eric hung out with a couple of the Quest guys. I think he was a little nervous hanging with guys he didn't know all that well, but they ended up playing "Settlers of Catan" a game that Eric loves so that definitely broke the ice a bit. Eric and I like playing the game but it isn't quite the same with just two people, plus I just don't have quite the competitive spirit that they guys had.

We spent Saturday night at my parents house, and had a nice visit and great breakfast/brunch on Sunday morning. My Mom and I got to chat about some of the wedding details, Eric and both got caught up on some sleep we had missed being sick, and it was just a nice quiet visit. Sunday afternoon we stopped in Peoria on the way home and hung out with Scott, Tara & Kira. We exchanged Christmas presents... who cares that it was March 1st. I got the coolest jigsaw puzzle of all of the baseball stadiums that you can write the date you visited each one on. It will definitely be framed one day and hung on the wall when we have our sports/game room in the basement. Eric got a way cool book on brewing beer... right now it is a coffee table book, but we hope to put it into practice in the not to distant future. It was a fun visit, and we all enjoyed a trip to Flat Top Grill before we headed home. Yummy!!!! They had calamari to add to your stir fry, and personally I could make a meal out of the pita bread!!

We got home just after 9 and unloaded what we was the last truck/car loan of our respective moves. Some folks pointed out that we will have to unload shower/wedding presents... but I don't count that... those are gifts and were packed by someone else and infinitely more fun that the stuff we already own.

So, there you go. That's what is up with me... I can't believe I didn't take a single picture from my Quest Farewell Gathering... duh!!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A final move

Hello all. So I haven't blogged in forever but really there hasn't been all that much to blog about. Yesterday we borrowed the free REMax Realty truck and with the help of Eric's Dad and Dave Roome we move the furniture from Eric's apartment to our house. Eric and I have spent the past month packing and moving the rest of his stuff one carload at a time, so only the furniture was left. The weather was only semi-cooperative as we had several inches of snow the night before and Saturday brought heaving winds that made for somewhat crappy travel, but it was a short drive and we didn't have much to move.

Earlier in the weed my parents came to visit. My Mom and I went shopping for her dress for the wedding and we had success. My parents are the the market for a new refrigerator so they checked out ours... I think my Mom measured it and pondered inside to re-evaluate the storage capacity about 20 times. We also had the Direct TV moved from Eric's apartment. So between having his furniture here and real TV to watch the house is slowing starting to take shape. It is kind of funny how well the random "left over" furniture actually looks kind of nice together in the family room with our bargain brown leather couch we got at JC Penney's for a steal. Also, we put Eric's single sleeper sofa in the office and it looks great. The room was a little sparse with just the desk and the sofa (which is the size of a small love seat or over sized chair) so the sofa really warms up the place. Not that I really will be logging much sofa time in there while I am working, but it pulls out to a remarkably comfortable twin size bed and will serve as an extra bedroom for guests.

Today Eric and went to church and Sunday school, and the had lunch and did a little shopping afterwards. I realized that in less that in six weeks we will be on a cruise and my wardrobe wasn't really ready. We have had a lazy evening at home since... doing a little unpacking (one day we might be done), laundry, I worked on my Bible Study homework, and watched a little TV.

The wedding RSVP's are starting to arrive... and that is exciting. So far it looks like lots of our family and friends will be able to join us. There are still tons of little details to finish up but we are starting to get excited. With each RSVP I get excited about seeing so and so, although I realize that it isn't like we will have tons of time to visit with everyone for very long. My new game is to try and guess who is replying by the post mark. We are meeting with the DJ next weekend so we are thinking about music, and the whole dancing and party aspect of the reception. Woo Hoo!

Well that's about it, a rather boring blog. Hope all is well, and that spring comes soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Birthday Bash!

Hi Everyone- All is well in Geneseo. Still getting used to everything, but so far so good.

Saturday we went over the Travis and Steff's to celebrate Katie's 8th birthday. It was lots of fun with lots of good food, and it was great to only have to drive about 25 minutes after a family celebration as opposed to 3 hours. Here are some pictures of the lovely Miss Kate... sporting a temporary shark tatoo on her forehead, and being ever so lady-like with the worms in her nose. Travis is also striking a pose with one of Katie's gifts. (Okay, so you will have to wait on pics... blogger is not letting me download them... I will try later)

February brought some other family birthdays. Katie shares a birthday with my brother-in-law and fellow beer drinker, Larry. My nephew, Jeremy, celebrates on Valentines day, followed by his mom, Jayne, the next day. I have to brag on Jeremy... he was a great help on move-in day.

Still working on getting settled and making some connections. I am going to my women's bible study again tomorrow and looking forward to it. I also have been going to Curves and enjoy visiting with the women there.

I have been living without TV since I moved. We are having Eric's Direct TV moved next week, and have viewed a few games when we were at his apartment packing. I thought I would just die without it but I don't really miss it all that much. In fact Eric hooked up an antenna to my TV last night so I get the network stations now, but honestly haven't turned it on since last night. I am sure I will watch some tomorrow night when Eric is at a meeting. I am hoping that having gotten used to not having TV I will not watch it as much. It helps having Eric around because we often find something else to do, being it unpacking or we even broke out the Backgammon game the other night. I had not played in many years, but it was lots of fun.

I have been busy trying to work on some wedding stuff too. Invites went out Friday, and RSVP's are starting to arrive. I am glad I have lots of stuff already in place but there will no doubt be several trips to C-U the month before to wrap up some last minute details. It is a great relief to have the invites out.

Well that is all for now. I will probably hit the hay by 10 p.m. Getting up and working by 6:30 these days has moved up my bedtime lately.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Under Contract

Just a quick blog to let you know my house is "Under Contract"! My realtor, John K, officially listed it on Thursday or Friday and I had an offer Monday evening. I found out they accepted my counter offer this morning.

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for us. It is still "sale pending" subject to buyers home inspection and financing, but so far so good, and Eric and I are so relieved to be this far along in the process so far. Closing should be sometime in March.