Dreaming of Fireflies

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A Day in the City June 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 4:15 pm

Benjamin and I had a wonderful time celebrating our anniversary in Chicago yesterday. We took the train in and spent the afternoon at the Art Institute. We even did the audio tour, so we looked pretty cool with our headphones. Our favorite pieces were mostly Monets. Then we walked down the new Nichols bridge and around Millennium Park. We found a cute little miniature golf course surrounded by trees and skyscrapers and played a round. (I lost again.) We had dinner at the Cantina, the second restaurant we’ve tried at the Italian Village. It wasn’t quite as good as the Village, but it was still good. Who can complain about pasta and tiramisu? And we ate next to an aquarium of fish, some who were fond of racing each other across the tank, and one who liked to eat rocks. Kind of like our turtle. Only he eats rocks AND his snail friends. Anyway, here are a few pictures of our day in the city…

“Lucky I’m in love with my best friend. Lucky to have been where I have been. Lucky to be coming home again.” -Jason Mraz


Marriage: Year 2 June 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 2:50 pm

In honor of our 2nd anniversary:


A Week of Interesting Adventures

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 1:11 pm

~Hung out with 3 of my best friends- all named Jen! That’s what we get for being born in the early 80’s, I guess. (But why do people ask if we are sisters when they hear we’re both named Jen, and convince themselves that we look alike??)
~Got my first pair of tailored jeans
~Survived the hail-y, tornado-y weather and made it to Indiana
~Made it home from Indiana in spite of mysterious car troubles.
~Ran through the pouring rain in heels
~Went to the Neon Cactus piano bar and saw a guy do pretty good impressions of Kenny Chesney, the Beatles, AND Kid Rock.
~Did something I never thought I’d do (and thought my grandma was funny for doing): bought a fake wedding ring.
~Ate Tollhouse cookies during the Tollhouse cookie recall. Oops. (I seem to be ok, but I will let you know if I get salmonella or ecoli or something.)
~Changed clothes in a Walmart bathroom
~Saw Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. For the second time.
~Went to the ultimate mini-golf experience with my dad: 36 holes on 4 levels! I lost.
~Became the only person I know to get injured at a miniature golf course. (I pulled a muscle hopping a fence. Don’t ask.)
~Went to the frilliest, pink-and-brownest, chocolatiest store ever.
~Painted my nails in the car.
~Became the proud owner of an avocado masher.
~Decided I may never go to Coldstone again after nearly avoiding a sugar (and fat) induced coma.


Congratulations, Benjamin! June 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 7:05 pm

Ben got accepted to U of I today! Woohoo! It is a definite blessing from God and a joy/relief to us, although I had faith that God was going to make it happen. What Ben will be doing is called a PSM degree (Professional Science Masters) in Agricultural Production (a combination of science and agribusiness), specializing in Food Animal Production. It is not the same thing he originally applied for, but basically it’s still animal science masters with an internship and some business classes and without the research and thesis. It is a new program they are just starting this fall, so he will be a member of the first class ever! It is an interesting and exciting concept to the program, but I probably can’t explain it very well given my utter lack of affinity for science. Or should I say “udder”? Haha. Ok, bad joke, but there is actually a class called Udder Health!. But you should ask Ben about it because I have bombed most of my (non-psychology) science classes and complained about them the whole time, leaving my parents understandably surprised when I decided to marry a biology major. Anyway, it is a 1.5 year program, and Ben will likely apply to U of I’s vet school after that, which is a 4 year program. So… we will be moving sometime before August 24th to somewhere in “Cham-bana” and probably be there for a few years. I am still looking for a job and if I can find one soon we are considering buying our first house! Craziness! It will be sad to leave friends and family in the Chicagoland area, but it will be exciting to have our own place, to both be doing what we’re interested in, and putting down some roots, since we have moved and changed churches pretty much every year for quite a while. And we will be closer to Ben’s family and a few friends from college as well, which will be nice. But since my family and many of our friends live up here, I’m sure we will visit often, and you are welcome to visit us any time! Well, I guess it depends who you are, since I have no idea who reads this. But either way, you’re probably welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

I think Ben’s chosen field, and particularly his passion for responsible stewardship practices among other things, are admirable and needed. That said, maybe it’s just the city girl in me, but I can’t help but chuckling to myself at the names of some of the courses he will be taking:

400 Dairy Herd Management

402 Sheep Production

409 Meat Science

435 Milk Quality and Udder Health

438 Lactation Biology

420 Ruminant Nutrition

524 Non-ruminant Nutrition

Hehe. ๐Ÿ™‚


Sew what? June 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 11:40 am


Yesterday’s interesting event was going to a tailor shop for the first time. There was a bit of a language barrier, but he seemed to know what he was doing, so I just let him have at it. Such trips may need to become more frequent, as I have finally come to terms with the fact that I wear tops and bottoms that are 6 sizes apart, and even then don’t quite fit! Anyway, I do believe that Stacy and Clinton would be proud…

P.S. Sorry for the bad pun. It wasn’t very punny, was it?ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰


May I Have This Dance? June 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 7:54 am

I took a social dance class in college for a gym credit, but seeing as I remember nothing but the eccentric teacher and the brutal gluteal workout she made us do to the “I Like Big Butts” song, going dancing this week with some fun former coworkers was like a new experience for me. It was at a cute little studio in the city that reminded me of Shall We Dance, the Richard Gere movie where he secretly takes dance lessons. In fact, the studio is called May I Have This Dance! Yes, yes you may. It was a little awkward dancing with random people when we rotated partners (guys 40-65 and a young employee who seemed a little snooty), but they were pretty pleasant, and I spent some of the time dancing with Gineen, Cathy, and the female instructor since we were short on guys anyway. We did waltz, salsa, and hustle (no, not the goofy 70’s dance I was thinking of, like the bus stop!) I knew it would be fun even though I was hesitant, but I enjoyed it even more than I expected. I’d like to go back with Ben. It was more fun and easier to follow than the sample class we took before our wedding. Anyway, do a little dance today in honor of this post!


A Tribute to the Seasons June 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 11:23 am

The transition from spring to summer got me thinking about the seasons (I love them!) and an a song that is one of my old favorites. Here are the lyrics, along with some of my personal photos. Enjoy!

Every Season by Nichole Nordeman

Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You in children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and what’s to come
You are autumn

And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath
And still I notice you when branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter

And everything thatโ€™s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new with every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring