Thursday, September 20, 2012

Big Moves!

Perhaps I should wait until the moves actually happen so I can share pictures, but I'm just too excited to hold out on some of the exciting changes that are about to take place, so here goes! First things first, I can now happily announce that L got a new job!!!!! :) He wasn't necessarily actively searching, but a really great opportunity came along, so he decided to give it a shot. I'm sure you're wondering what the position is, so I won't make you wait! He will be the new Assistant Director of Career Services in the College of Engineering at UW-Madison. Whoa! Now if that isn't a mouthful, I don't know what is! ;) This is definitely a step up in title, responsibility, and pay from his current position, so it's super exciting. I told him he will now be my sugar daddy, ha! In all seriousness, though, I'm so, SO happy for him because I can't think of anyone who deserves it more. He works so hard and has so many amazing ideas, and I really think this position will allow him to flourish more than he already has. Can't wait to see how well he does! (He starts October 1.)

Okay, cheerleading aside;), this is a nice segway into the fact that he will obviously be moving to Madison soon! For those of you who are unfamiliar with Wisconsin geography, this is a VERY good thing because it means he will be much, much closer to me in Milwaukee! And since it's not all about me (ha), I should also mention that it puts him incredibly close to much of his family. 3 of his 4 siblings live in the Madison area, and both his sister and her husband and his brother and his brother's wife each just had babies recently. Two new little additions to the family that he can see more often now that he'll be closer. Must say, I'm jealous of that aspect because I would LOVE to be closer to my family and to see all the little ones more often. Maybe someday! :) Anyway, since I don't want to be a creep and tell you exactly where L will be living, I'll hold off on sharing the name of his apartment complex. It looks super cool, though. He will have a neat loft-style apartment. He has a loft at his current place, but you can't stand up in it. This new place will be much more spacious on the loft level. Look forward to seeing it in person soon!! He will be moving down next weekend. Holy crap. Holy crap. In a little over a week, he will be living 94 miles away instead of the usual 215. Can I just tell you how friggin' excited that makes me?!?! If I want to, I might even be able to head over to visit on a weeknight or vice versa. Seriously?! Amazing. I am beyond excited. If I am part of his moving process, which I am trying to work out, I will attempt to take pictures to give you a sense for his new place. Well, that's assuming you care. Ha. So crazy that last weekend was the last time I'll see L's place in La Crosse. He's been in his apartment for a few years, and really, that's the only place of his I've known since we started being such a big part of each other's lives. Kind of the end of an era, which makes me feel sad, but I'm also clearly looking forward to what lies ahead! It'll be weird, because I will probably travel to La Crosse far less now that he won't be there, but hopefully I can still make it back every so often!

Speaking of moving, "I" am moving soon too!!! Don't get too excited, I'm not upgrading to some sassy condo or buying a house or anything. I'm nowhere near that point in my life yet. I'm actually just staying in my current apartment building but moving down a floor and into a one-bedroom place. While I am in love with the amount of space and storage and everything I have in my current two-bedroom place, I really forced myself to think about it and admit the fact that there really is very little need for my spare bedroom. Every once in awhile, I have guests, but they usually either get to take my bed, or they'll sleep on the couch in the livingroom anyway. All of that furniture will still be there. I also forced myself to examine my finances and evaluate what this move could mean for me, and I really think it's worth it. I'll be saving a solid $150 per month by living in the new place, so I'm pretty sure that alone is worth it! When I viewed my soon-to-be new apartment, I fully expected to think it was going to be way too small, but it is actually a pretty decent size, and it even has an extra closet! Perhaps that will make up for the fact that I won't have a walk-in closet anymore. :( Yes, that is probably the hardest part about the move for me. I really think I can make it work, though. Guess I'll have to since I don't really have a choice at this point, ha! I'm still working on the logistics with my landlord and the other tenant, but I will be moving in sometime next weekend, between Saturday and Monday. In case you didn't put two and two together, that means L and I are moving on the same weekend. Booo. He originally planned to help me and my parents move my stuff, but now that's probably not going to happen! In fact, I think my parents are going to go to La Crosse next Friday with the big cube van to help L load everything up, and then I will meet them in Madison on Saturday morning to help unload and get him settled. I have until noon on Monday, 10/1 to officially be out of my place, and I took that day off just in case I can't move sooner, so hopefully it all works out. Kinda funny that the reason I even inquired about a one-bedroom apartment in my building in the first place is because L was in the final round for a job in Milwaukee and asked me to check with my landlord. Damn. If only....... Still, I will take what I can get!! ;)

Anyway... Now I have rambled for so long, and I hope I haven't lost you all yet. I just wanted to share the big moves (literally and figuratively) that are happening for L and I lately. Pretty exciting stuff, and hopefully I'll have some fun pictures and stories to share from both of our moves soon! While I hate packing stuff up - and I'm significantly behind - I really DO love the process of settling into a new place, organizing it, and making it feel like home. I will have that chance soon enough! Anyway, stay tuned... I may do an entry soon on some of the health issues I've been dealing with lately. I'll provide more details at a later time, but just as a quick FYI: I go into the cardiology department for an echocardiogram tomorrow afternoon, and I'm hoping and praying for the best! I've been experiencing a few weird things with the heart lately, so I feel good about getting in and getting it all checked out. I think it'll all be okay, but obviously when it comes to the heart, it's always scary. Wish me luck, and I will keep you all posted. Thanks again for reading! This long of an entry is what you get when I only have time once every couple weeks to check in. Back soon! :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Motor Boatin'.

Holy shizzle. I haven't posted on my blog in over a month. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother for Pete's sake. Between a vacation, an insane work schedule, and some health issues over the past few weeks, I have not had much energy left to put into blogging. I'm really sorry! I'll do my best to elaborate on some of those things in the near future, but for now, I just wanted to back track a bit and talk about my awesome houseboat trip! For those of you who are unfamiliar or who have never been on a houseboat, I highly recommend giving it a whirl! We did it once a long time ago as a family, and I loved it, but those memories were pretty few and far between. I was definitely excited to try it again and the trip did not disappoint! Our friend Eric was the primary planner of the trip, and we ended up going with a boat company called S&S Houseboat Rentals out of  Lansing, IA. They had several different models of boats, but because of our larger group, we went with the Sharpe model, which I explained in the previous entry.

Prior to the start of the trip, I went up to La Crosse for the weekend to spend a little extra time with L. We had a really nice time and then got up pretty early on Monday morning (8/20) to drive down to our boat. There was a lot of logistical things to figure out - who was riding with who, who needed to bring what, etc. - but fortunately we were a pretty coordinated group. It was a super foggy morning and to cross into Iowa, we had to cross a bridge that looked like it was going into heaven since you couldn't see it through the fog. Super scary. My mom would've been crapping her pants. ;) Anyway, we loaded up the boat, and then came the interesting part. To rent one of these boats, you don't really need much for credentials, licenses, etc. The guy who runs the place came onto the boat and told anyone who was interested how to run certain things, how to dock the boat, how to avoid shallow spots, etc. We did a quick practice docking a little way down the river with him, and once we dropped him off, we were on our own! Kinda scary to think that pretty much anyone can drive these things. And I must say, for about the 30 seconds that I tried driving on the last day, it scares me even more because it wasn't a very easy task to keep it straight! Fortunately for me, there were plenty of people who were more than willing and capable to handle that part of the trip. ;) When we weren't cruisin' along the Mississippi, we were docked at various sandbars doing a bunch of different things. Sitting on the beach. Swimming. Exploring the shoreline. Building campfires. All sorts of good stuff, and not to mention, the weather was perfect. I still daydream about the boat quite frequently.

In case you're curious, we had a couple different traveling options. From Lansing, we could have either gone north (towards La Crosse) or south (towards Prairie du Chien). We chose to go north. It was an awesome path and we saw lots of cool things. I'd be curious about the other direction if we do it again (which we've talked about already!) We were on the boat 4 days and 3 nights, and I think that was a pretty perfect amount of time. We probably brought way too much food and alcohol, but overall, I think everyone was well prepared and had a great time. You definitely want to know and enjoy the people you go with because if you don't, you're just stuck on a boat with them for days. We were lucky in that we didn't have any problems! Evidence? There was a nice TV on the boat, and we didn't turn it on once to watch movies or anything. We all just did our own things and enjoyed each others company. Just the way I like it. Once we got back on Thursday, I spent the next few days in La Crosse again, so that was pretty perfect. I was in desperate need of the vacation at the time it happened. I wish we could go back now! Anyway, if you have any questions about the trip, feel free to ask! Until then, I'll just let you look through A LOT of pictures and make you feel jealous. ;) Enjoy!

 Bags were packed a couple days in advance. ;)
Me and L when we first started going. I was cold. He wasn't. ;)
A few of the crew members enjoying the upper deck!
We docked at the first sandbar, and L was immediately on the lookout! :)
Some random shells I found on our walk!
A few random shots...
 L pulling up the anchor. He looks so far away!
(This is when I started taking pics on my tablet b/c I dropped my camera in the toilet. Sad.)
 Pulling away from the first sandbar we stayed at!
 Gotta love cut-off jean shorts. Ha!
 Cool view after making it through the lock and dam!
 While I wasn't driving here, I like this shot! How pretty is this view?!
 Intently scoping out something along the way.
 Not exactly model material, but I still like this shot. :)
 These little lovebirds got engaged on our trip!!!!! :)
 Seriously, could it get any prettier?! The water is so still!
 Nothing like a little yoga on the top of the boat!
 Always posing. ;)
 Enjoying the awesome weather and view.
 Me too. :)

 The boat!
 Coronas in the fun little bucket I got for L.
 The ladies (minus Lindsay) relaxing! :)
 Random crew just chillin' and playin' L's homemade Monopoly game! :)
 My 30 seconds of driving. That was enough. ;)
 Pretty bridge as we were coming back into Iowa!
Me and Kayleigh at Top Shots once the trip was over!
Me and L at Top Shots. :)