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Sunday, September 26, 2010


As previously mentioned, one thing I love in life is free stuff. Today, Al and I took Mila down the street to Prairieland Feeds and cleaned up on free treats and dog food. Woot! We loved seeing Mila'a reaction to the farm animals...hilarious! She loved them but I'm not sure they loved her back, given the goats' hateful stares and guttural noises...

The best part though, was the tiger! Al and I were captivated by the rescued endangered animal, but Mila, not so much. We're not even sure she noticed the enormous cat!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bella is Five!

The Hills, Melbys, and Nukus spent a fun-filled afternoon at Chuck-E-Cheese for Bella's fifth birthday party today!

Plenty of pizza was had and tickets were won. My hands were aching after Al forced me into the shaky-hand game multiple times (which I beat, thank you!) 

Al and I enjoyed some quality entertainment put on by Mr. Cheese himself!

Bella and Keira killed it at ski ball!

Afterwards, we all headed back to the Hills home for cake and presents!

Bella's kick-butt cake crafted by her awesome momma, Sarah

Bella's gift from the Melbys

Anna even put on a special birthday dance show, accompanied by the musical genius of the Wiggles!

Al worked on memorizing the presidents with the help of the Hills' president placemats. Above, Sarah and Matt are quizzing him. He aced it! :)

It was a great day with great people. Happy birthday big girl Bella! We love you!

Friday, September 24, 2010

B-day Parties

I left work today and headed directly up to Chicago to celebrate the birthdays of my cousin's, Jack and Elizabeth. My Uncle John and Aunt Jean are both really great cooks, so the food alone was worth the trip!

Happy birthday Jack and Elizabeth! Love you both!

P.S.: I think my uncle's real name may be Rico...?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Honeybunch

Al loves honey.
And I love Al. :)

Family Reunion(s)

Today, Al and I took a (long) trip up to Michigan to meet up with my mom's side of the family for two family reunions. First, we went into Holland to meet up with my Grandpa Tom and his family. The best part was spending some time looking at our not-so-cute old family photos. I guess when I think about it, we're pretty lucky to have wound up as decent-looking as we did, given the no-neck past of my ancestors.

Mom, Grandpa, and Uncle John
Lineup pose
Me with Grandpa Tom, Mom, and my little-big bro Tyler!

Afterwards, we headed over to my Aunt Linda's for a get-together with my Grandma Michelle's side of the family. The kids worked out downstairs while the adults visited with each other...

We didn't stay long because of the long drive, but we had a nice time looking at more old pictures of my beautiful great-grandma, Ella and other family members. I'm pretty lucky to have such a wonderful family! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Travel Information

A deposit of $50.00 per person is due by tomorrow, September 15. Our travel agent was supposed to be contacting everyone about this well in advance, so if you've had any issues with not being contacted, please let us know so that we can get that resolved quickly.

We hope to see everyone there!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Illini Game

Al, Jeff, Holly, and I were lucky enough to be gifted with tickets to the Illini game from our awesome friend Alyssa today! I had so much fun tailgating with Al's friends before the game, and then of course watching the game with Holly and Jeff.

Al and I went out to Radio Maria for a drink and some tapas after the game...delicious!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quarter Century Celebration

Yesterday was birthday #25. I awoke to ton of Facebook "happy b-days" and texts from my family and friends. However, the nicest part of my morning was the beautiful bouquet of fall flowers Al surprised me with.
Don't mind my creepy eyes in this picture...allergies. :/

My favorite thing about birthdays is getting spoiled with food. For my first delicious meal of the day, I chose brunch at Le Peep. I got my favorite, the Eighteen-Wheeler-french toast, eggs, bacon, and breakfast potatoes-and a Cafe Vienna. Yum. We had great service and awesome food!

After that, Al and I headed to Hessel Park for a book date, since the weather was so gorgeous yesterday. We grabbed yet another coffee (it's my birthday-don't judge) and laid out a blanket. We ended up skipping our books to lay around and chat. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. Afterwards, Mila and I went on a mommy-daughter date to the dog park, while daddy took a nap.

One of the absolute best parts of the day was when Al and I headed to the mall to look at wedding bands! We both found what we are pretty sure are our future bands. I was thrilled with how they both looked and, as usual, we got great service at Kay! Al then played the role of the patient fiance while I wandered around Sephora for about an hour. I tried out new makeup and had about a 30-minute consultation with one of the employees, while Al watched and wandered. :) I've never been in this store before; given my addiction to beauty products, I thought it was kind of a poor financial decision waiting to happen. However, I really enjoyed the attentive service the employees provided and the decent prices. I will definitely be back!

Once we got home, took some time to get ready, and I tried on all my new make-up, we went out to Biaggi's for dinner. I've only been to this restaurant once and Al and I often avoid it, thinking it just seems kind of boring, but I've got to tell you-this meal was amazing! The bread is much better at Manzella's but Al and I thoroughly enjoyed our enormous seafood dishes. The calamari appetizer was one of the best I've had in town. The service however, left much to be desired. There was a lot of waiting around and the special, the Herb-Crusted Swordfish, was actually described as "swordfish, served on a bed of greens, if you will, with a crust of herbs". Al and I were pretty humored by this, until we spent uncomfortably long periods of time waiting for waters, photography service, and our check. Sheesh.

We wrapped up our night at the movies. We planned to see The Other Guys, but ended up seeing Going the Distance. Lucky for us, this movie ended up being hilarious! We LOL-ed the whole way through! Overall, my birthday was awesome, with all of the credit going to Al. 

Since I've turned 25, I've come to two incredible realizations: this was my last birthday as Lisa Monteer, and I now have to check the 25-34 years old box when taking surveys. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Andrew's First Birthday!

Baby Andrew had his first birthday party today! He was looking dapper, as always. 

We chowed down on delicious barbeque food, courtesy of Andrew's mom and pops, Colleen and Carl, then headed inside to watch Andrew open up his gifts. 

Some delicious buggy cake was enjoyed...

We all had a blast at this bug-themed shindig, especially Kimmy D. and me!

Andrew even ended the party in his birthday suit!


Today was Katie's bridal shower; it was so nice to see all of Katie's friends that I haven't met up with in so long, and also to meet a few of her friends for the first time!

The game I typically dread the most-toilet paper bridal gown creation-turned into a blast! My team created a Pam Anderson/Kid Rock wedding inspired beauty-a toilet paper bikini with pigtail wraps as a veil. It was glorious! 

Of course, it was also fun seeing Katie have to chow down on about an entire pack of gum while answering questions about her hubby-to-be.

This was a fantastic party with a fantastic group of girls. Congrats Katie!