Saturday, December 27, 2008


So, I have been politely (albeit sternly) informed that it is my turn and responsibility to post on the site. At least I get the easy topic of telling you all how our Christmas was.

We started our morning nice and early at Lauren's house. Lauren and I got up and exchanged our gifts to each other first. She got me some awesome guitar equipment that I really wanted and am VERY excited about. She also got me a CD, a sock monkey, some trail mix, and some awesome christmas ornaments. She also got me the Office season 3 and a really hard to find Muppets/Sesame Street/Fraggle Rock christmas movie that I watched when I was a kid. She did a great job!

I got her some scarves, a purse and wallet, some shoes, Aveda hairspray (so she'll stop "borrowing" her mom's), some lip gloss stuff, and the big thing was a bunch of paints and new really nice paint brushes and some blank canvases. She is an awesome artist and I'm excited for her to get back to painting and paint some cool things for our apartment once we move in!!

So after that we gave her parents their presents and got some nice things from them. Then we headed over to my mom's house for christmas morning. The kids were all ready and waiting in the living room for us when we got there so they could start opening their presents. Katie and her boyfriend Dustin were there too which was really nice. It felt like a great family christmas, it just would have been a little better if Chris would have been able to be there. So we opened all our gifts and then had mom's traditional HUGE christmas brunch. Sausage, bacon, hash browns, egg casserole, raspberry bars, cinnamon rolls, fruit salad.... needless to say, I ate waaaaay too much. It was totally worth it.

After brunch we watched the christmas movie that Lauren had got me and then after a quick stop at the Bradford's to drop off a present, we packed up and headed back over to Lauren's. Her sister and brother-in-law were over with the kids and we had a very nice christmas dinner. Judy made one of the biggest turkey's that I had ever seen. There is TONS of it left in fridge which is good for me because that means turkey sandwiches and turkey soup for a nice while :)

After that we watched some basketball for a few hours, including a nail-biter Cleveland Cavs game (which they won) and then settled our brains for a nice christmas sleep.

So... that was the very first christmas "Tim and Lauren"-style. The first of many to come. 

I can't wait.


Monday, December 22, 2008

3 days till Christmas!

Tim and I are SO excited to celebrate Christmas together! I can't wait for all the holiday festivities to begin in a few days :) Tim can't wait to watch Charlie Brown Christmas (which I still haven't seen) and has been talking about it for a few months now.

Last week we visited with some friends who just had a baby - so cute! - and watched the Nightmare Before Christmas (I'm trying to get all holiday movie viewings in to make up for last year.) We also just saw Wall*E for the first time and LOVED it. We watched it 3 times in 48 hours!

I also recently had to deal with another flat tire - my second this year. I think it was due in part to the fact that I bent the rim on the same wheel, last time I had a flat. So Timmy came to the rescue and changed it for me, and then I discovered that you could order a new tire rim online, which I did. I don't know why I find that odd, just is.

This weekend we were supposed to be in Canada for my first wedding shower, but unfortunately they were calling for snow storms. So instead we drove up to Fort Erie where we met a few family members and had lunch at Kelsey's. In true form I ordered a Sonoma Valley Chicken Salad - hold the chicken - and a side order of pickles. SO good. About 7 hours driving time for a 2 hour lunch! Tim and I had it fairly easy though since we just sat in the back and slept or watched Arrested Development. We also received the world's best salad spinner from my parents and some other great gifts...not to mention the chance to see the I suppose it was all worth it in the end!

Today two of my bridesmaids confirmed they have their plane tickets for the wedding! I am SO excited because they are two of my oldest, dearest friends from England, and we haven't seen each other since I moved back to the States two years ago. I am trying to think of some fun activities we can do while they're here - though Cleveland in February doesn't exactly lend itself to many entertaining possibilities.

Just over two months before the big day!! It feels like it's never going to get here!

I can't wait!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Festive Weekend

This weekend was full of Christmas activities - some better than others!

The first was a Christmas concert we took Tim's family to at a local church. There'd been a lot of buzz surrounding the concert and it seems to be known as one of the best Christmas shows in our area. 

We hated it. 

It was hands down the worst Christmas concert I've ever been to and in some ways one of the worst Church events either of us have witnessed. We felt so bad that Tim's family had to endure the same painful experience - on so many levels. Bahhhhhhhhhh what a waste of time and money. That said - a lot of people there looked like they were having a blast (though we can't understand it) - so perhaps it's just us.

Next on the agenda was the Ugly Sweater Party at our friends Ashley and Jason's. Tim and I had gone out earlier in the day to find some hideous sweaters at the Salvation army. And for less than $10 we got the lovely outfits you see above. While Tim's, in some contexts, might be considered old school vintage, mine was just downright ugly. It was straight out of the eighties - complete with shoulder pads! - and the definition of tacky with little plastic jewels sewn on and the added touch of angora detailing on one arm. It even smelled like outdated perfume....which is actually pretty gross. Needless to say, whenever I put it on I did my best to not allow the fabric to touch my face. Unwashed, used clothing creeps me out.

This coming weekend we are headed to Canada again for the first of the wedding showers!! We can't wait. It'll be good to see our family and friends again before the holidays.

10 more days till Christmas!

love lauren.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wedding Stuff.

Things are (somewhat) in full swing in the way of getting things prepared for the big day.

I stopped over Tim's mom's today to check out the invitations she's designing : amazing. They couldn't more perfect and completely in line with what I'd envisioned. The incredible thing is that I really didn't give her any ideas for what I wanted - just the three colors we are incorporating into the wedding. I was so thrilled with them I almost started to cry, but gave her a great big hug instead. I keep telling her she should start her own business. The woman is a creative genius.

I also picked the processional song for my bridesmaids and myself - it's going to be a surprise for Tim - I'm pretty certain he'll like it. It holds significant meaning for me, and I think its beautiful to begin with, but I played it for some ladies at work and they gave me the thumbs up as well. Of course, I may come across something even better before February 28, but I feel pretty confident that the song I have in mind is the keeper.

The other major thing that I keep hemming and hawing over is chair covers. It sounds trivial but those things really make the room a dazzler. Naturally they're one of those most expensive aspects of the event, hence my apprehension. But I've ok'ed it with my incredibly generous parents a few times, so....we're going to go with it. My only consolation for the expense is knowing that I cut out a lot of typical wedding expenses by calling on friends instead of paid professionals to get things taken care of including the cake, the d-jaying of the music, and the photographer (Emily, I know they'll turn out awesome!)

Thanks to all of you who have helped me along so far - you've made my job as a bride so much more relaxing!!! I can't wait to see it all come together on February 28th. 

It's going to be beautiful!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We bought our couch! We are very excited about it. It's a nice buttery cream color with awesome throw pillows, and most importantly - very comfy! We spent a little bit more than we had planned, but because much of our apartment will be furnished with hand-me-down stuff we felt ok about splurging on this one item.

I recently started reading the Twilight saga. I admit at first I was very skeptical, especially considering the mayhem that surrounds the movie and how obsessed young girls have become with wanting to actually be vampires. But then a friend of mine started talking them up, and my interested was piqued and I'm almost done with the second book and loving it.

Tim's reading them too now :D

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Site

So... sadly our other (awesome!) site came to a premature end due to unforeseen circumstances, so we've had to relocate to blogger which admittedly is not as glamorous as our Mac one, but it'll do the job.

BTW - please please please comment, we'd love to hear from those of you that are following our journey :)

I realized we had been lagging on posting entries I think we're due to update everyone on what's bullet point form:

  • A few weekends ago we visited my sister and her family in Ontario which was lots of fun. We ate lots of good food, got up early to watch Bob the Builder with my nephew Joel, went shopping at a great antique store, and spent quality time with my Nan and aunt.
  • We spent Thanksgiving with Tim's family at his mom's house, and enjoyed a lovely dinner. The next day we returned to help her with the Christmas decorating which was lots of fun. We got to watch Muppet's Christmas Carol, which is one of our holiday favorites!
  • We went to see Eric Hutchinson at the Beachland Ballroom - an artist we discovered at a Missy Higgins concert. It was a great night, and his opening acts were awesome. We especially liked Meaghan Smith - a rather new artist, with a 40s feel to her mellow sounds.
  • We went for our wedding meal tasting at the 100th Bomb Group - the amazing place we'll be having our wedding reception. The food couldn't have been more delicious and we are so excited for our guests to be just as thrilled as we were.
Well that pretty much sums up the past two weeks. We will both try to get back to posting more regular entries.

Tomorrow (or Monday) we are going to buy a couch for our apartment that we are super excited about. Less than 90 days before we get to enjoy it in our new life together!



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dinner & Decisions

Last night we spent another evening with the Susan Tedeschi band - sans Susan - at Tim’s aunt and uncle’s, as they stopped in Cleveland for a day on their way to Chicago. It was great to hang out with them in a relaxed environment. Everyone was going nuts over the meatballs Uncle Daniel had made, so for one brief and almost undetected moment, I tried just a small bite (I’m quite a strict vegetarian otherwise.) Having accidently eaten meat on several other occasions, I figured “why not?” and it was definitely worth it! That said, I’m still sticking with the veggies!

On the way over to their house, we also made the decision to go with the apartment in Lakewood that we looked at the other day. It’s a huge step of faith, as there are still a few things to sort out. We only did a quick walk through and I can’t remember if there are any closets (which, for some reason, is really gnawing away at my mind) or if there’s a washer or dryer downstairs....but these things are trivial at the end of the day, and renting this place will allow us to rent out the third floor space for cheap to someone in need. I’m excited to get in there and start getting it all prepared for the big move in March!!


Monday, November 17, 2008


Well hello all. After reading Lauren’s last post, I apparently am now responsible to tell you all about our trip on Saturday! My pleasure...

So we left on Saturday afternoon and drove down with Aunt Kim and Uncle Daniel and Danny and got into Pittsburgh (after a short detour due to a faulty GPS reading, which was rather hilarious) just in time to see Susan Tedeschi and the band do their sound check. We walked in and it was so cool to be there on the stage with them while they were playing. One of the songs was so amazing I almost started cheering when they finished. That would have been pretty embarrassing considering there wasn’t really anyone else there. I suppose I should mention that the reason we were able to be there for soundcheck and get to meet the whole band and everything is because Toto, Uncle Daniel’s son, plays bass for her.

Probably the best part of the whole thing was how cool everyone in the band was. As soon as sound check was over they all came over and said hi and introduced themselves and seemed so grateful and genuinely excited to meet us.

We went to dinner with them and Lauren and I got to sit next to Dave the guitarist who was a great guy and so cool to talk to. I’ve been around a fair number of bands and have never found one that everyone was so nice. I know I keep saying that but I don’t know how else to put it. I was just so blown away with how they received us and made us feel so welcome.

Then was time for the show. After hearing the sound check I was really excited and they absolutely did not disappoint. They were incredible. There is such a difference between “performers that play music” and “musicians”. This was a band of musicians. You could tell that they were having so much fun doing what they love. Susan has this phenomenal HUGE voice for being such a little lady (just like Lauren!) and the rest of her band was awesome. There is usually a point during almost every concert that I’ve been to where it’s like, “ok, this can end whenever, I’ve heard enough” but not this one. Lauren and I agree that we could have listened to them for hours.

Another really cool aspect of the whole night was that Uncle Daniel brought his bass down for Toto to play. This is quite the huge deal because Uncle Daniel’s bass is a 1962 Fender Jazz bass. I don’t want to go in to too much detail but let me just say that it is very very valuable not only in monetary terms but much more so in sentimental value. This is the bass that Uncle Daniel has had his whole life and career as a musician. It is pretty much irreplaceable. There had been much speculation as to when (if ever) Toto would get the bass passed down to him. Well, this was the night. Toto played it for the whole show and then when he was finished and giving it back, Uncle Daniel told him to keep it. Toto was like a little kid, so excited. It was a pretty huge moment to be there for. I dunno, it was just cool.

Overall, the whole experience was super inspiring. Both for Lauren and I. As most of you know I’ve been playing bass for about 8 years now and I’m currently learning how to play guitar. As I mentioned before, Lauren has an INCREDIBLE voice and loves to sing. We’ve talked a lot about taking time and writing music together and getting more serious about it, but we never seem to find the time. Like I said, this weekend was very very inspiring to both of us and motivating for us to make time for that to happen. Hopefully once we’re married and living together it’ll be easier to find the time.

So... yeah. Great weekend. Probably the BEST concert that I have ever been to (and I’ve been to quite a few) and probably some of the coolest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.

A huge thank you to Susan and her band and Aunt Kim and Uncle Daniel for letting us tag along :)


First Snow

It’s beautiful outside right now - our first true snow fall of of the winter season !!! Tim and I have Mondays off together so we are cozied up inside watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - classic. We decided to kick off the holiday season celebrations a bit earlier this year because we are both so excited about the upcoming holiday!

Today we went and looked at an apartment in Lakewood - a city that’s known for its artsy, eclectic community filled with unique shops and restaurants. A friend of Tim’s owns a three story house there and is offering to let us rent the top two floors. We both fell in love with the place and already have a vision to rent out the third floor at an affordable rate for someone in need. We still have a lot of praying to do about it but we are excited about the prospect.

This past weekend was amazing .... we got to spend some time with Tim’s aunt and uncle and Grammy nominated musician Susan Tedeschi and her incredible band!! But I’ll let Tim tell you about that later....

For now, I’ve got a bad case of strep throat and need to take my penicillin!

Stay healthy,


Friday, November 14, 2008


While I’ve always had an appreciation for the art of photography, I never considered myself an applicant until the day I got my first digital camera back in college.

I like to think that I did decent work, considering the very basic equipment I was using. The shots above are some of my favorites. Ironically, now that I’ve upgraded my camera to something more professional, I actually am less inclined to go on shoots.

Nevertheless, my photography has opened up a few cool opportunities this year (a mission trip to the Dominican Republic) and also brought in a bit of money from time to time.

That said, I don’t plan on ever making a living from photography or even trying to do so. But I would like to reignite the love I have for it. And I feel like something really holding me back is the fact that I still lack an expertise in Photoshop, which is an essential part of the photography package.

So, I’m determined that within the next 6 months, I’m going to be a fully trained Photoshop user, whether I take a class somewhere or buckle down and teach myself. Fact!



Thursday, November 13, 2008

How to Help

So I was at work today thinking about that last post that Lauren had made and that picture and just... a lot of things. How incredibly blessed we are here in our country, all of the things we take for granted, how we have absolutely no comprehension as to what true hunger or suffering truly is. This led me to consider what we can do with the gifts and blessings that God has given us. What it is to be a good steward of what God has seen fit to entrust to our care and our discernment in how best to allocate that. This of course does not only pertain to money and material wealth but also our spiritual gifts, mental capacity, and other talents that we are all gifted with in very different ways.

All that said, my initial thought from the picture and... all that, was the non-profit organization “World Vision”. Through this group you can sponsor children in need by providing not only the bare essentials, but you can also communicate by sharing photos with them, writing letters, and also providing for their family by purchasing goats, ducks, chickens, bibles, clothes and many other helpful provisions. Lauren currently has a sponsor child that I suppose will become “our” sponsor child once we are married, and within the next few days I plan on signing up and making my contribution to another family as well. I can only encourage you, if you are feeling moved, to check out the website and consider sharing with those in need what you have that God has entrusted to your care. Click below!

Hope everyone is doing well and know that we love you all!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


So earlier today I posted a pretty intense entry based on this picture I came across for work. I’m not sure if anyone had a chance to read it, but I chose to remove it as it just seemed way out of context for the purpose of this site, not to mention the fact that its a disturbing image. I guess I just got caught up in the emotions it evoked.

For those of you can see for yourself...

The story behind it is incredible and heartbreaking.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tank McTubbs

For a while now we have talked about wanting a dog. Tim is pretty set on an English Bulldog - the name Tank McTubbs was a joint effort. Personally I think they’re a bit ugly, not to mention the fact that they’re known for their tendency to drool and snore loudly. Nevertheless, there’s something endearing about loving a dog whose face is nothing short of comical and whose stature is the canine version of a football player.

So late last night we were browsing online ads for English Bulldogs in the area, most of which ran for a good $1000-2000. Soon enough we came across some “free for adoption” listings, and replied to the ads out of interest.

Of course, as suspected, there’s a bit of a catch; the dogs are currently being held in Cameroon, Africa. And having seen the way dogs are treated in other African countries, I have a sneaking suspicion that the $200 needed to ship the dog here would somehow end up being a sore waste of money.

Tank McTubbs, for now, will remain a good idea but a very far off reality.
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