living in chicago

A Potluck Entry on a Saturday

ETA: Professional wedding photos are up here! They look amazing. :)

Today, Aidan headed back to Ohio to spend the rest of the summer with my mom. After that, he will go on a trip to Phoenix with his dad, and then he starts kindergarten. Seems like yesterday he was moving in for the summer. I keep expecting to hear him calling for me and asking for more Froot Loops or something like that.

The good-bye was painless. He’s excited about the rest of his summer adventures and I’m excited for him. I’ll miss him though. He has the cutest little cheeks and ears; I’ll miss nibbling on them whenever I have the chance. This morning, he woke up with his face and hands covered in marker. I’m pretty sure he purposefully colored his hands for some crazy reason. Thank GOD he used watercolor markers, not Sharpies!

I woke up at about 2 or 3 am with crazy allergy symptoms. The back of my throat was EXTRA itchy, and I was sneezing up a storm. I took an allergy pill this morning knowing it would pretty much render me useless all day.

I spent the day reading and napping. Adam spent the day doing mad loads of laundry. He heard that I wanted to put up a clothesline, and he went ahead and did it for me. So tomorrow, I plan to do the towels and let them line dry. There’s nothing like line dried linens. They smell amazing.

Today, Paws contacted me about finalizing Helena’s adoption. As if there was going to be any doubt! That little kitty had my heart the first moment I saw her. She eats like a little piggy, I’m worried that she’ll get fat. She’s adorable, though. Cuddly as all bananas, and she follows me everywhere. When I’m in bed, she lies either on my legs, at my feet, or right beside me. And she loves to be rubbed under her chin. She’s an awesome cat. We’re up on the adoption site, by the way. We’re picture #17 under the July 11th week. :)

I’ve been tweaking my site for the past few days, adding little things to the sidebar, adding new pages, and playing with the CSS a bit. I’m happy with how it’s evolving.

Tomorrow, it’ll be a week that Adam and I have been married. It’s been amazing. He brought me breakfast in bed twice already, he does all the cooking and kitchen cleaning; basically he takes amazing care of me. I like this life.

I’ve been feeling extra blessed lately. I am not sure if I’m just starting to relax, or if the meds are helping me. It’s probably a combination of many things. Almost all the big milestones in my life are finished (all I have left is finding full-time work), and I’m finding myself sleeping entire days away because of all the tension and adrenaline leaking out of my body. I’ve been so tightly wound the last few years, it feels weird to kind of relax and enjoy life. Adam helps me, though.

Here are things I’m happy about:
01. Being married to Adam. ♥
02. Aidan getting to enjoy a good rest of the summer with more people who love him.
03. Discovering good music (Kerli, M.I.A.)
04. Getting my hands on a rare Japanese New Kids on the Block CD called More Hangin’ Tough. This CD has versions of I’ll Be Loving You Forever and You Got It (The Right Stuff) that I only heard on the radio and could never find in the stores. I’ve been looking for these versions for years and I finally found this CD on eBay. The CD came straight from Japan, and I’m so excited to finally have it.
05. A cute little cat named Helena.
06. Living in a cool city.
07. Getting better at finding my way around said city. (Cas told me that she’s impressed at how well I get around now, and she is impressed that I give directions to people).
08. Doctors who care more about seeing to her patient’s health than making a profit; discounts when you self-pay at the doctor’s office.
09. Friends who take amazing wedding pictures and share them all with me!
10. Tang! Yummy! :P

So, I got out all the scrapbooking stuff, and yesterday, I finally got my pictures from Snapfish. I didn’t grumble at the very late delivery and processing. The photos have been prepaid for years, and the shipping was free. All I had to pay was $1.32 for more than 100 prints. And it’s not like I’d have had time to work on the scrapbook last week anyway. Plus I needed adhesives. BUT now the pictures are here, I don’t have any work assignments lined up for the next few weeks, so I’m going to work on my scrapbooks. One will be an Aidan book and one will be a general scrapbook of the past few years. Plus a wedding book, but I’m still waiting for pictures so that I can order all the prints at once. Hoping for another free shipping Snapfish code soon!.

I guess that’s all for now. I had other stuff, but I can’t think of it at the moment. I’m thirsty, which always happens right before bed. Not good, seeing as my bladder is tiny and overactive as it is. But either way, I’ll be up, so I might as well not be thirsty. Good night!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Bananas and Chicken (Long, Pictures)

Actually, this post won’t have anything to do with bananas and chicken, but it’s something I say often, so it’s only fitting I’d finally use it as a subject heading.

Today, despite the 90 degree heat, we headed to Millennium Park so Aidan could play in the big fountains. We had promised him, and he was being pretty good, so we wanted to definitely follow through.

Playing at Millennium Park

Playing at Millennium Park

He had a good time, even though it was blasted hot! At one point, he had gotten so cold that he was huddled under the towel. I couldn’t believe it, not as hot as it was outside. Still, even when it’s like that and I know I can’t stay out there long because I’ll faint, I’ll take this weather over the dead of winter any day.

The cats are getting along great. Yesterday, Helena and Crookshanks spent a great deal of time cuddling on the bed. It was so sweet.

Cuddly Kitties

Helena is amazing. Once it’s bedtime, she follows me into bed and cuddles and purrs and rolls all over the place. When I have to use the bathroom, she comes with me. Sometimes, she gets adventurous. A couple nights ago, I kept hearing plastic bags. Nervous that she might get caught in a bag, I searched high and low for a plastic bag. No such thing. Turns out that she had gotten into the bread. I’ve lived with cats who loved bread. It’s an adventure keeping buns, bread, etc. away from them. So far, she hasn’t realized that I just moved it to the butcher block (AKA Carb City), and hopefully she won’t discover it.

I’ve been in touch with some old friends from my intermediate school days. My friend Jessica found me on MySpace a few weeks ago, but as I never log into MySpace, I didn’t know until she found me on Facebook yesterday. I found a couple of other people because of that. Chain reaction. A good one. It’s nice to catch up with old friends.

I’ve been rediscovering “Girl World” on the Internet. I remember when I first found it, late 1999, early 2000. I’d thought the Internet was dominated by geeky guys, and even though I’d have my site since 1997, I had found only a very few girls. Domain ownership was for the “elitist of the elite” and it was a great honor to get “hosted.” I remember Amy was the first person to host me at How awesome that was! As a result, we became good friends, and I even got the chance to meet her in September of 2005. Star was someone who I’d felt like was a billion years above me in design skills and therefore pure WIN. But getting to meet her as well in 2005 (the same trip where I met Amy) was incredible.

Anyway, and,, all of those sites is what I think started the “Girl World” revolution. And there were trends. Oh Lord, there were trends. The “ME YOU WWW” layouts. Frames. Pop Ups. Iframes with the matching windows. UBBs. Blinkies. Pixels (Oh how I miss The Cutie Factory). Kaos. (I still like kaos and pixels, actually!) Surveys. Blogger to Greymatter to B2. Diary-X. Diaryland. Friendster. MySpace. Lots of interactive stuff. Some of that stuff carries over ’til now. Like imood. I totally still use imood. :) And there is the new stuff. Plurk, Twitter. Facebook. Netvibes. Flickr. What will be next?

Back then, I think it was a popularity contest, but at least it was based on skill. EVERYONE knew Star and Tash and all those people who still have awesome design skills. With one really cool layout, all of a sudden, Anywhere Is bloomed overnight in popularity. Having a cool layout, getting into the elite cliques (anyone remember woogoo?), posting on the right UBBs… that was the way to go!

Nowadays, I don’t seek cliques to join, or webrings, or affiliations. I couldn’t care less if someone decides to design her site to look just like mine (as long as s/he doesn’t steal my personal stuff). Nowadays, my site crossposts to Live Journal, because most of my friends are there now, having moved away from domains. (Although I’m seeing that many people are moving back to domains because of WP.) Nowadays, I use premade Word Press layouts because I don’t have the imagination, time, or energy to design a layout. And that’s OK. I like to see a pretty and well-designed site, but honestly, I’m a lot more interested in what the person’s writing about these days.

I met a lot of awesome people during those years, and I’m still meeting cool people. And that whole online friend vs. “real life” friend line is so blurred now–I mean, everyone has a Facebook or MySpace these days–that it’s easier than ever to actually meet and forge real, true friendships with people you meet through Live Journal or a message board.

One cool thing I’m seeing now is that many of the women whose sites I’d visited back in the day of cliques, awards, and all that good stuff, is that many of them are moms and wives now. They post about their day-to-day lives with their husbands and their kids. They post the pictures they take, and show us what they’ve knitted. They talk about their jobs and their families and I find that to be so fascinating. The past couple of days, I’ve been surfing site after site after site and feeling that sense of nostalgia for those days. Now, there is less drama because we’re simply trying to live our lives the best we can. We’ve all matured and started focusing on what’s important, but we’re sharing our lives with each other. And that is awesome.

And on that note, I’m going to try to finish reading Firestarter. I didn’t realize it was such a hard book to get through. Not because it isn’t interesting. It’s amazing. But it’s long and dense. Stephen King was and is a freaking genius.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Our Newest Family Member (Picture)

Meet Helena!


We adopted her today from Paws Chicago. She’s a beautiful orange tabby (the pics don’t do her justice), just over a year old, and she is affectionate, friendly, and completely adorable. She immediately flopped and showed Aidan her belly at the shelter, purred when I pet her. She and Crookshanks bumped noses right away and not one hiss or growl out of either of them.

We made sure to find a cat who was youngish, good with children, and good with other animals. She comes from a hoarder situation–basically a crazy cat lady who had 40 cats. She’s used to other animals, which is evident. When we got her home, she hid under the bed until we cautiously let Crookshanks in to meet her. That’s when they bumped noses, and that’s when she finally came out and about. The people at Paws told us that she’d probably warm up to him more quickly than to us, which is what I’m seeing–although every time I get the chance to pet her, she purrs like crazy!

Next week, our family is going to be on the Paws Web site!

We first stopped by the Anti-Cruelty Society, but even though it’s more expensive, I definitely recommend PAWS for your adoption. The cat’s completely checked out, spayed/neutered, shots up to date, monitored, and microchipped. It’s a no-cage area, so when you’re ready to meet cats, you can sit with them and play with them. The adoption process actually takes hours; we were there a long time today. You talk to a counselor and everything. At the end, you get a huge coupon book from PetCo and a free bag of food! We get a free wellness exam in the next week, and if something crazy happens in the next 14 days and we can’t keep her, we can return her and get a refund. I can’t imagine giving her back, though. :)

I’m very happy to have Helena live with us. ♥

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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A Potluck Entry

The end of another week draws near. Tomorrow is my last day at the law firm where I’m temping. I really enjoy working there, and I get a lot of compliments on my work. I’ve asked them to consider me when they go to staff the position permanently, if I am still on the market. They treat their employees well, and that makes me want to perform well.

Adam got a new computer and gave me his old MacBook. I spend most of my time on the computer Andy got me for Christmas because I’m definitely more familiar with it and the way it works, but I’m having fun playing with iPhoto on the Mac! So far I’ve mostly been using it for photo manipulation.

We’re cat sitting this week. After a rocky start, Ophelia and Charlie are relaxed and making themselves at home. They’re eating, using the litter box, and letting Adam and me pet them. Aidan is terrified of them because they hissed a lot when they first got here. Ophelia reminds me of Lucy with her temperament and the way she acts: timid but curious. She’s a lot more vocal than Lucy, though.

I miss having more than one cat around the place. I know that Crookshanks will be welcoming to a new kitten. I just want to be sure that I’m ready to start again. The thought of going through another pet death scares me. But the thought of not having another kitty makes me sad. Is this normal?

I’m slowly going through Cycle 10 of America’s Next Top Model. I watched most of it while it was on TV, but Adam taped the marathon for me at the beginning of June. So I’m watching it again. :) The episode with the music photo shoot is on now.

I just added a couple of pages to the site. I decided to reinstate the 101 in 1001 program, redone completely, and I also made a page called 50 smiles.

I got my wedding dress! Well, it’s not a bridal gown or anything, but it’s a really pretty dress that I actually can’t describe, but you’ll see pix soon enough. Only 17 more days!!

I am starting to get the urge to scrapbook again. I haven’t made a scrapbook in almost three years! It’s been a long time. I still have most of my stuff, I have tons of pictures, so I should make albums. The thing is, I’m not sure what to make them of. I want to definitely make an Aidan album, a Ronni & Adam album, and well, I have a lot of pictures of “things” such as flowers and stuff. Do I want to make an album of that stuff?

Decisions, decisions.

When Aidan was smaller, he used to get so involved playing computer games that he wouldn’t go use the potty. Today, he wet his pants twice because of games, so he won’t be allowed to play games tomorrow. He definitely knows better, he’s just being lazy. And that’s annoying. He’s already out of clean shorts because of it.

Speaking of laundry, I really miss having my own washer and dryer. There’s a little room here, but it’s hit or miss and frankly, the room is too dirty for my tastes. Dropping a sock is not a good idea, if you know what I mean. So we need to make a trip to a coin laundry center because I have clothes that haven’t been washed since before I moved (don’t worry, I haven’t worn them either!) and that’s not right. I want to take a pile of money and just take a whole day to do laundry. Sheets, blankets, everything. Actually, I’d much rather do one of those laundry service deals. Then I wouldn’t have to deal with it! But we’ll see. That goes under the heading of “extravagant” and “luxury”.

Anyway, I’ve been writing this entry for hours now, and I’m about ready to get off the computer. Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Ronni’s July 4, 2008 (Multimedia)

This was the coolest July 4th I’ve had in a long time.

Jeff and Deborah came over to hang out and celebrate with us.



Adam fired up the grill.

Adam is Lighting the Grill

I put on my patriotic gear.

Patriotic Me!

The boys made dinner.

Mmm, Dinner!

Then we walked around the neighborhood to see fireworks!

Fireworks in the Neighborhood

When Adam told me about the fireworks in his neighborhood, I had a feeling they were impressive, but I really had no idea they were like this (you MUST watch this video, keeping in mind that these are not put on by the city or anything–these are private people’s displays):

Imagine four of these displays, happening at the same time, for about four hours. Yeah, it’s like that. Who needs to go to Navy Pier? We just need to walk three blocks.

They were almost too loud for Aidan:

Protecting His Ears

But he had a good time anyway.

Right now, everyone’s playing Wii and eating ice cream. A fun Fourth of July in Chicago. :)

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