Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Adventures in America's Dairyland

Wisconsin did not disappoint us! We had a great time on our mini-vacation to Janesville and Madison, Wisconsin.

Highlights of the trip:
  • ice cream or custard every day!
  • singing along with the country music on the radio during the drive. I'm slowly...very slowly...winning Scott over.
  • seeing places and meeting people from Scott's favorite growing up years. We drove past his old house on Galaxy Street, visited with the old family friends (who live on a farm, complete with pigs!), and ate at favorite restaraunts.
  • hiking around Devil's Lake. One word: beautiful!
  • exploring Epic. I've gotta tell you about this place. We were driving back from a rural area near Verona (about 30 minutes outside of Madison) when Scott saw this huge red building. He wanted to take a picture, so we drove onto the "Epic Campus." It's a group of huge buildings (that we late found out are a medical company of some sort) that were, on Memorial Day, unlocked with no one in sight. So, of course, we wondered around a bit. They had amazing architecture, statues, art (Darth Vader and Spiderman among them) was a crazy cool place! And no one seemed to mind that we were just wandering around in and outside of it. Kind of creeped me out, I'm not gonna lie. I think I was letting "LOST" get to me a bit too much :)
  • experiencing small town life. Locally brewed beer. Homemade teas and jellies. Streets lined with quaint shops. Trolls carvings...really, does it get any better than wooden carvings of trolls scattered throughout town?
  • eating great food, each and every day! Cheese curds, anyone?
  • outlet mall!
  • spending uninterrupted time with my husband :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dream Come True

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but my eyes are slightly misty as I begin this blog. I just watched the "Today" show clips from last night's American Idol. Ridiculous, I know, that I should get emotionally wrapped up in the finale, since I've watched exactly three full episodes this year, but when David Cook started to cry and was at a loss for words as he was announced the winner, I couldn't helped but think how amazing he must have felt at that moment. His dream had come true. A 25 year-old bartender who had, on a whim and because of his brother's persistence, driven to Omaha from Kansas City (go Midwestern boys!) to try out will now have the chance to live out his!

Makes me think about my dreams, or the apparent lack of sometimes. I dreamt of someday finding the love of my life and marrying him, and it's happened. I dreamt of being a teacher and yesterday I came home two bags full of materials from Millard West to look over this summer to prepare for the fabulous freshmen I'll be teaching this fall. I will admit, though, that both of those dreams can be terrifying at times. Giving my heart to someone. Starting out new in a career that I feel completely incompetent in some days.

What will my next dreams be? Kids? Travel? Writing? All? None? I want to be a person who spends her life going after her dreams. I don't just want to "settle in." But it's one thing to say that and another to live my life as a dreamchaser.

God, please continue to give me dreams. Show me what my heart's desires really are. Give me faith, hope, perseverance, and courage for the chase.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Prime-Time First

Last night I celebrated a first: I voted for American Idol. Not once. Not twice. Twenty times (much to the chagrin of several friends in the room who couldn't get through on the phone lines...beginner's luck?) Tonight you'll find me and that same group of friends (in varying states of Idol amusement and addiction) enjoying ice cream sundaes as we patiently wait through two hours of showcasing to learn this year's winner. Our money is on David Cook, although I think David A. outperformed him last night. Vamos a ver.... (we shall see...)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Artistic Revelation

Several years ago, one of my wonderfully artistic friends painted an original piece of art to grace the large empty space above my couch.

I love this painting. The bright colors. The way that it doesn't completely match but wonderfully accents the room. And especially the fact that it was made especially for me (well, not quite me, exactly, but for one of my former roommates who decided that it could stay when she left...thanks JTho!)

Several of us have always thought, though, that parts of the painting somewhat resembled a particular part of the female body. It's been a very good-natured joke with the artist and the subject of some very entertaining conversations.

Tonight Ranae changed all that. Maybe it was just a matter of angles. As she was reclining on my couch, she suddenly exclaims, "Jane, the painting looks like a girl's face!" It took me a while to see it (partly because I couldn't get the other thing out of my mind), but then I saw it. Do you? The red on the left side is hair (or a hoody). The next orange stripe is more hair. And the next pink bump is the face, most noticeably the nose.

Ranae thinks we should name the newest "member" of the McIntyre family, so I'm taking suggestions. What do you think should be the name of the girl in the painting? Hurry and cast your votes!

Overheard at Lunch

"I went in with no expectations and came out a bronzed god."

I seem to have entered the conversation at exactly the wrong time.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Third Times a Charm?

Today, for the third time in as many months, I locked myself out of my house. The last two times I've been with my mom. We decide to run some errands. I take her car because I am parked in. Not until we return home do I realize that when I don't drive my car, I don't have my keys (I just keep them in the ignition of the car so I don't search around the house for them). I also do not have my garage door opener. Darn it!

Tonight being locked out resulted in giving my mom a short tour of North Omaha as we drove to the Fort Campus of Metro to get Scott's house key. Last time I was locked out, my mom and I drove to Scott's work to get the garage door opener from his car (thank God he rarely locks his car at work). The time before that...February 29...Card Wedding girls were pulling up to my house for a little pre-wedding girls' night...I managed to drop and break a bottle of wine on my way down the steps upon realizing that I was locked out.

If I'm remembering correctly, I think I've locked myself out of my house five times in this house. Five times in five years wouldn't sound so ridiculous, but three times in three months tends to make me look like an idiot, eh? As a wise woman from the UP Audit department told me tonight, "Girl, you need to hide a key!" I think I'll do that when I'm out and about tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What I'm Reading

Reading for pleasure really is a marvelous thing! I just finished read the book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. I'd be a liar if I said that I picked up the book sheerly for enjoyment. I have to teach it at Boys Town High School this summer, but, regardless, it's a fiction book that I was not struggling to stay at least a chapter ahead of my students (as was often the case in student teaching), so I count it as "for pleasure" reading.

The book is about the meat-packing industry in Chicago at the begin of the 20th century. It centers on the ficticious (but based on facts) story of a Lithuanian immigrant family who comes to American seeking the good life and finds it to be absolutely everything but. This is not a book for the faint at heart. Sinclair does not spare the reader gross descriptions of the meat-packing industry. Almost makes this country-lovin', raised on red meat girl want to be a vegetarian. Even worse, though, is the tragic story of this family. I won't give details in case you want to read it, but be prepared to be depressed.

It's a good kind of depressed (if there is such a thing) because it's the kind of depressed that makes you think: what kind of world do we live in, what will be my response, how will I live? I couldn't help but compare stories in the book with the experiences I had while in Peru with Word Made Flesh. It stirred up the fire in me that's been on a slow burn since my return.

Stirring that fire, though, is dangerous for the soul, I sometimes think, because it makes me feel so inadequate and helpless to the world around me. Definately a deep-thinking, "read at your own intellectual and emotional risk" kind of book. If you get the itch to read it, let me know what you think of it.

I also just finished The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Since Matthew mentions Tozer fairly often in his messages, I've been wanting to read him. Scott has a whole set of his books, which are all short and to the point (a reading bonus). Don't let Tozer fool you, though. The book packs a punch. It's a wake-up call for the ho-hum Christian life. I'm still mulling it over a bunch, so I don't really know that I have much more to say than that, but I highly recommend the book. I just started another one, Faith Beyond Reason, that promises to be equally good after just reading the first chapter.

Next on the reading list is The Oath by Frank Peretti or Showdown by Ted Dekker, courtesy of Mrs. Koenig, and Writing Alone and With Others, courtesy of my good friend Monica in Peru. If you have any book recommendations (any genre) let me know.

What are you reading right now?

Update on Planning

My streak of poor planning has only gotten worse since the last posting. Yesterday I succombed and went to Home get a can of spray paint for the bathroom register. I often good-naturally harrass Scott for being impatient when he wants to buy things (ie. can't wait until the next time he's at the store, needs to make a special trip right then!), yet there I was, going to there again (that's five days in a row, I believe, that one of us went to a home improvement store) because I just can't wait for the bathroom to be done. The vent cover could not remain unpainted for one more day!! (I might add that the vent cover looks pretty sweet, and the solution was only $1.49...yea!)

And laugh if you want, but I managed to visit HyVee three times in about 28 hours. Twice of them were my idea, but I do need to drag Mrs. Koenig into the fray here because the last time, a post-Idol ice cream run, was her idea. I, of course, was all for it (because it really was a shock that I didn't have ice cream in the freezer already), but for the record, it was not my idea. Edy's ice cream, I might add, is on sale this week...yea!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


It's a sure sign of a lack of planning when the McIntyre's visit a home improvement store four days...yes, count them...four days in a row, and I go to the grocery store twice in less than 24 hours. I like to think I'm a fairly organized person, but all those trips would make me think otherwise, eh?

All the trips are not in vain, though. The bathroom is almost done! The paint is "curing" as Scott would say (aka. I didn't quite let it dry enough between coats, so a day later, it's still a little "tacky"), the new shower curtain is up, the new rug is down, and Ranae's fabulous monogrammed towels will be hanging up...matching!!! soon as we get towel bars hung. The headache is worth it...I love my new bathroom. If the room is tiny, at least now it looks chic...yea!!

27 Dresses

On Sunday evening Abbie and I decided to watch a much-anticipated, highly-recommended romantic chic flick, "27 Dresses." Perhaps my expectations were too high. I should have known to not expect amazing things from a movie that I hoped had a predictable ending. Don't get me wrong. I laughed, but it was not the fantastic film I was hoping for. We decided it was a "two thumbs sideways" (as opposed to up or down, you know?) mix of "How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and "The 10 Things I Hate About You."
Please don't hate me because I didn't love the movie. Let's just decide to have a difference of

Friday, May 9, 2008

Flower or Weed?

Inspired by my good friend JTho, I decided to take a stand against the small crop of dandilions currently trying to make a place for themselves in my front yard. I don't remember there being as many in past years (or maybe I was just ignoring them), but this year I noticed more of the wanna-be-flowers than I care to see.
Out I went, armed with a mystery tool from my garage that I think is for digging up weeds, but I'm not sure. I saw Jane use it the other day, I will admit, or I wouldn't have known what it was for. One and one-half hours, two slightly sunburned arms (it's going to turn to tan, I'm sure!), and four...count cream buckets full of offending dandilions later, I was finished.
Or so I thought. As I type, I can peer at the window and see at least two taunting little yellow flowers...what?!?
Related thought: picking dandilions when I was little. This past weekend, my sister Amy told me that Amber (the niece with the pink purse in the previous post) was very distraught earlier in the week when she discovered that the dandilion that she had picked for her mom at the babysitter's was wilted in the bag. Reminded me of picking dandilions for my mom in the yard at the farm.
The rule at my parent's farm is that if it's green, it's allowed to grow in the lawn. Therefore, there's a mishmash of grass, clover, and weeds, including dandilions. I thought it was so great that we had a huge patch in the back yard. My mom had a special little vase for dandilions. It was a simple ribbed milky white glass, just the right size for a bouquet of five or six dandilions. She would place the vase right in the middle of the kitchen table for the entire two-hour life span of the flowers, and I couldn't have been happier.
Ironic, isn't it, that a flower that I loved as a kid is now a weed that I suffer stiff legs and sunburn getting rid of. Hmmm....philosophical life lesson or just a matter of maturing...y0u decide.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Foody thoughts

The dinner menu for the Mac house tonight: cheesy potatoes and....more cheesy potatoes? Scott could eat them every day, or at least you'd think that based on the number of times he's mentioned them since having them for lunch on Sunday at the confirmation festivities. You know the dish: hashbrown potato cube things (from the bag in the frozen food section), cream cheese, regular cheese, cornflakes, all mixed together and baked into a calorie-laden dish of perfection....ummm....

I'm glad he likes them, don't get me wrong, because most of us can remember a time that we didn't want someone special to find out some quirky thing that our family likes to eat, right? Velveeta anyone? Growing up I almost didn't know that real cheese existed. Velveeta and the parmasean cheese in a shaker can were the staples at our house.

What about homemade sausage? Would he like the meat that is mixed, by hand, on the formica kitchen table in the basement (after it's been thoroughly cleaned of course, I promise!) The casing is real pig intestine and everything. We don't mess around at the Koehler farm. No worries there. He's hooked on the stuff. I made him promise in the car on the way home last week that he wouldn't specifically ask my mom to get some out if we weren't having any for dinner. He very hesitantly agreed. Mom came through for him, though, and had sausage and potato salad waiting for us when we arrived. She loves him like she loves the grandkids, I swear. Gives him anything he wants :)

So we'll be dining on cheesy potatos tonight. I'll probably put a piece of ham on each of our plates, just for good measure, because I cannot, in good conscious, call cheesy potatoes a complete meal. Now, if I were a fantastic wife, I'd also made the always coveted strawberry-cream cheese-pretzel crust salad, but then I'd be raising the bar a bit too high, I think. Gotta save that for later in the week when, again, I'm scratching my head thinking, "What to make for dinner?"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Little girls with pink purses

We traveled to Pierce and Norfolk this weekend for my nephew Andrew's confirmation.  I have to play the "proud aunt" part for a moment and brag about my nieces and nephews.  In the group photo (from Christmas, our camera is still out of commission, so no photos to use from this weekend), from left to right: Amanda (almost 16 now), Blake (13) holding Amber (4 1/2), Andrew (14 1/2) holding Trevor (almost 6), and Bethany (almost 11?) holding Erin (almost 4).  They are just the coolest bunch of kids.  Teaching, I think, has given me a new appreciation for kids who are polite, kind, and fun to be with.  My nieces and nephews are!  Since I'm the youngest, I was still living at home when most of them were born, so I've grown up with them, in some ways.  It's so crazy to watch them develop into young adults.

Now, for the title of this post.  At the confirmation church service, I was sitting between Amber and Scott.  Amber has this little pink checkered purse with a bunny head on it...adorable!  Scott couldn't help but laugh when he saw how lady-like she felt with her little purse.  It's contents: tissues and crayons.  Don't leave home without them.

Later in the afternoon, Amber was blowing bubbles in the back yard with Scott.  Again, does it get any cuter than that?  Of course, to add a dose of reality to the scene, Trevor was running around with a garden stake, popping them.  Running with garden stakes is always a good idea, right?  

Almost makes me want to have kids right now...almost...but not quite :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The much-anticipated "Year in Review"

So almost a month ago I made a promise that I would give the highlights of the first year of marriage. I know that all of you have been checking my blog non-stop, wondering where it is. :) Well, wonder no more. Here you have the "Year in Review"

In an attempt to not be super boring with this little post, I've decided to use memories that I have photos to accompany. So, here goes.

First up, a photo of our first dessert shared on our honeymoon. I know I've married the right man when he tells the server, "Can you bring out the dessert while we wait for our meal?" Truly a man after my own heart.

Second, the photo of me making that ridiculous face.  We're on the beach.  I didn't think Scott was snapping the pic yet, so I was licking my lips.  Scott loves this photo!  He thinks I'm hilarious in it.  You know it's love when your husband likes you in a photo like that.  

Next up, a photo of the Coit Tower in San Francisco.  Scott took me there at night, suggested we walk up.  "It won't be far."  Famous last words.  Almost 400 stairs later (and I'm not kidding about that, we counted on the way down), we arrived.  The view was beautiful, so it was worth it, but it was the first of many times I'll hear him say "Just a little more (time, distance, etc)"  Gotta love it.

Speaking of "Just a little farther...": the photo of me looking out over the ocean at Mt. Tamalpais.  This was Scott's first real experience with how crabby his beautiful new bride can get when she's hungry :)  He wanted to keep following the signs up to the top, I wanted to turn around to have dinner.  He won, and the view was beautiful.  Lesson of the day: always bring snacks.

Scott's new-found love for home repairs has got to make the list.  Speedy gutter-cleaning to try and beat a thunderstorm (anyone else ever buy a ladder from Home Depot to clean the gutters and then return it? Not that we have or anything...) and building a deck.  I'm sad that I can't find the picture of Scott poised at the base of the bush that use to stand next to the front door, yelling over the chain saw, "Hon, I think we should just take the whole thing out!"  Didn't really leave a lot of room for me to say "No!", eh?

Who can forget men who have fire, even if it's just a small one in the backyard.  After tearing out said bush, Scott thought the easiest thing to do would be to burn the city limits.  After about an hour of burning, he decided that, perhaps, that wouldn't be the most efficient removal option.

Would the first year of marriage really be complete without a broken bone thrown in for good measure?  Regardless of what anyone says, it really was just a tickle fight that one might say I lost.  

Scott and I both went back to school in our first year.  Scott is the model student.  I am less-than-so.  Scott's excited about being back in school (as you can see by the photo of him modeling the mask he had to make in one of his classes).  I'm excited to be done.  Changes abound in the McIntyre house!

We celebrated Scott's birthday and started to wrap up our first year at the Card wedding extravaganza.  Getting dressed up, dancing with my husband...what can I say, it's a great way to celebrate!  We both commented that day that we couldn't believe we had been married a year.  It feels like just yesterday that we were in that same church, exchanging our vows.

At our wedding, Matthew commented that I had found my adventurous man (lots of backstory leading up to that comment).  Long story short, I wanted to marry someone who embraces life, who lives life to the full, who treats each day as a new adventure.  The final picture is of Scott and I in Minneapolis.  That weekend was just one of our many little adventures this year.  Scott loves a good road trip.  The IPod is always loaded with a vast variety of songs, sermons, and other random things.  There's always good conversation, and we both love the hunt for a good milkshake at a little town along the way :)