Sunday, August 28, 2011

Number 61

Our friend Lindsey just began taking fiddle lessons last week.  Luckily for us, her first lesson was right before our community group meeting, so she came home and told us about the lesson and how her teacher had invited her to attend a barn dance that she would be playing at on Sunday night.  Ben and I instantly perked up, and told Lindsey and John (her husband) that we wanted would go to the dance with them!!

Erin, John, and Lindsey before dancing began :)
We showed up in time for the "lesson" before the dance began.  It was a good thing that we had a lesson, because the dances were choreographed and somewhat complicated...  The "experienced" dancers were glad to help us figure out what we were doing, though.

Erin with the "caller" during the lesson
We had a great time!!  It was so fun to learn some of the dances and to talk with the people that do this every week.  We may not become regulars at the barn dances, but it was really fun!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Number 74

On June 30, Ben and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary - I can't believe that it has already been 4 years!! 

In February there was a Groupon for a horse-drawn carriage ride, so I suggested that Ben buy it and save it to use on our anniversary.  We went downtown and met the horse and driver, and took a ride through the city.  The horse's name was Pride, and our driver was full of interesting facts about St. Louis...

Here are some of the photos that we snapped during the ride :)

Number 46

Ben and I obviously enjoy music, and specifically we love good choral music.  The May Festival has been a Cincinnati tradition for over 100 years.  It is a series of concerts that are presented each year (in May) mostly by the May Festival Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  I participated in this great tradition as a high school student in the May Festival Youth Chorus, and my mom has been in the May Festival Chorus for many years too.

We decided to go to the concert on the closing night of this year's festival, because they were presenting "Elijah," one of my favorite choral works.  My mom got tickets for Maureen, Ben and me, and we came to Cincinnati for the weekend to go to the concert. 

The concert was wonderful (I sang along with most of it), and we got to go to the "Amen" party with my mom afterward.  We had a really great time, and we were so glad that we were able to share this experience with my mom and sister :)

Number 7

This post is long overdue, but here it goes!!

We weren't planning on staying with Sam for the weekend when Leah decided to make her grand entrance about 3 weeks before her due date :)  It was a Thursday evening when we heard that Abby was having some pain and going to the hospital to check things out.  We immediately told Andrew and Abby that we could pack our things and drive to Chicago at once if they needed someone to stay with Sam while they were in the hospital.  We heard a couple of hours later that it was the real thing, and we got things together and got on the highway at about 10 p.m. to go to Chicago.

We drove through terrible rain and heavy traffic, and we were thrilled when we heard (about half-way through our drive) that Leah May had been born at around midnight.  We arrived at the hospital a few minutes after Andrew and Abby got settled into their room - it was about 3 a.m.  We took keys from Andrew, went to their apartment, and got to bed at a few minutes before 4 a.m.

Sam had been spending the night with some friends of Andrew and Abby's from church, and he came home at about 8 a.m.  It was so fun when Sam saw us at his house - he started jumping up and down and didn't stop for about 30 minutes :)  We were glad to see him too!!

We stayed with Sam for the weekend, and had a wonderful time taking care of him while Andrew, Abby, and Leah were at the hospital.  We loved the weekend, and would love to stay with our nieces and nephews more!!

Number 70

I have been very hesitant to post this one, because I have been sure that by posting about our herbs I would jinx them and they would die...  However, the basil and parsley that I planted last summer are still alive and growing!!  So I figure that even if they kick the bucket now, they have more than qualified for meeting this goal :)

I started these guys out as seeds!!  I couldn't (and kind of still can't!) believe that they sprouted and grew so well :)  Our kitchen window is nice and sunny, and I have been carefully watering them every couple of days for the past year.  I have really enjoyed having fresh herbs to sprinkle in dishes from time to time, and it is also nice to have something green and growing in our kitchen :)

The first meal that we enhanced with our basil was home-made pizza.  So delicious!!

Number 55

Ben and I had been hearing for years how great of a show Arrested Development was, but we hadn't ever seen the show.   We decided that we needed to be in on all of the inside jokes that came from the show, and find out if it was really as good as everyone said it was...

The whole series is available to watch instantly on Netflix, so we began watching at the pilot episode.  It took us a couple of months to get through the 3 seasons that were filmed of the show, and we enjoyed watching many of the episodes with friends.

By the time we finished watching the last episode Ben and I were totally convinced that the show was as great as everyone had told us.  I'm really glad that we watched it, and would highly recommend that anyone else watch it too!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Number 11

We were excited to spend time today with Ben's parents.  They had originally suggested that we go out to try to have a better eagle watching experience, but we decided that it might be fun to accomplish another of our goals with them.  We decided to go to the St. Louis Art Museum.

The Art Museum is another great St. Louis landmark that is located in Forest Park, and it also has free admission.  We met Dan and Ruthie at the museum, grabbed a map, and walked through all of the exhibits.  There were so many beautiful paintings, sculptures, and other artwork, and the museum is in the process of expanding to double the current size.  It will be great to go back in a few years when the renovations are completed!

This was Ben's favorite sculpture - it looks like Mr. Tumnus...
This was Erin's favorite sculpture

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Number 47

Our good friend Emily was on vacation this week and told us that she wanted to check something off of our list with us.  We talked about doing a day trip to another state, or something else that would take us out of the St. Louis area, but since the Steelers are in the play-offs we decided to do something that would only take the morning :)  Ben suggested that we drive out to Alton, IL, to see the bald eagles that migrate to that area each winter.

We drove straight from Emily's house to the visitor's center in Alton.  Inside the visitors center there were tons of people and a couple of volunteers - with a real, live EAGLE :)  We picked up a map of the best spots to see the eagles, Ben and Emily studied the map, and we decided on a spot to try to see the eagles.

We thought we were driving to a specific spot to see the eagles, but we missed it and just kept driving until we saw a bunch of cars pulled over on the side of the road and people out of cars with cameras.  We looked high into a tree and saw a beautiful and majestic bald eagle perched on a tree branch.  We got a few pictures and then quickly got back into the car to avoid the passing traffic.  Ben was very disappointed that the Mississippi River was frozen, so there were no jumping fish for the eagles to swoop after and eat...

On our way home we stopped for lunch at "Fast Eddie's."  The food was great and super cheap - each of our burgers were $1.29!!  We were probably more impressed by the lunch than the eagles :)  Overall, it was a fun morning!!