Posts filed under ‘Family’

Happy Birthday, Ashley!

It’s my baby sister’s birthday today.  Hope it’s a good one, Ash! (just for fun, an old pic of us on the beach)


October 22, 2008 at 8:10 pm 3 comments

there are no words…

to describe how I feel about this.

But I am pretty darn excited about this.

More from my travels later… it’s time for me to do some science!

August 16, 2008 at 9:46 am 1 comment

Up North!

I visited one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes over the weekend, and stayed at my aunt and uncle’s fabulous cabin.

They have delicious donuts here.

The food was delish! The entertainment was fascinating! The accommodations were luxurious! And the price was certainly right!

I hope they’ll invite me back!

Friday, my cousins, Barley, and I headed up to the lake house after work. We met my parents and brothers who had been camping up on the North Shore (of Lake Superior) last week, and my aunt and uncle who were already up at the cabin. We didn’t get to the cabin until late, and ended up sitting around a campfire for a while, roasting marshmallows and whatnot. Then, the kids (myself included) and Barley retired to the bunk house for some much-needed sleep (at least, I needed it… I can’t speak for anyone else).

Saturday was a bit cold and rainy in the morning, but cleared up enough for us to go tubing in the afternoon! Tubing wars were a blast (tubing wars means there’s 2 tubes dragged behind the boat and you have to knock the other person off of their tube)!! Even if I lost to cousin Catherine, she proved to be a fierce opponent!!

Look how tough Catherine is (she’s on the green tube)!

Robby takes on Catherine (this time she’s on the blue tube).

Saturday night, we went mini-golfing. I’m not that good, but I can talk a big game. And! I got a hole in one on the “secret hole” and won a free round of mini golf (guess I’ll have to visit again to claim it…).

Jennifer and Trevor get hungry on the mini-golf course.

Sunday morning was more of the same – rain and cold. A thunderstorm came through early in the morning, and wimp dog was freaking out. So he crawled under the bed (I still cannot figure out how such a big dog squeezed into such a tiny spot!).

Barley hides under the bed in the bunkhouse.

But it cleared up in time for us to go waterskiing. Jim and Uncle Doug barefooted, Trevor showed off his waterskiing (he is REALLY good), Jennifer wakeboarded, and I tried slalom (one ski) skiing. It was tricky! I think I’ve only been waterskiing once before, so I fell quite a few times…

Jim waterskiing sans skis.

Trevor shows off his waterskiing skillz. He was even zooming back and forth, in and out of the wake!

Jennifer is super-awesome at wakeboarding… much better than my unsuccessful attempt in Kentucky!

Check it out – don’t I look like I know what I’m doing!?! (ignore the ugly face I’m making… not sure what that’s all about…)

30 seconds later… crash!

Then, Sunday night, we had to head back to the city. But not before we talked the land dog into trying his hand at water. He’d only go in until his belly touched the water…

He’s a water dog now!

The rest of my pics from the weekend can be found here:

Woman Lake

July 21, 2008 at 9:57 pm 2 comments

cow shoes

Let’s be honest: this week was tough!

I’ve got a huge to-do list at work that doesn’t seem to be shrinking by itself. The truth is, many of the things on the to-do list are things that I’ve needed to do since I left Kentucky — 9 months ago. But papers take time to write, new experiments at my current job have been started, and I’ve taken on a little lot more than I can handle.

Not to mention, there is this little event called MY WEDDING that is taking place in exactly 11 weeks and 2 days. When it was 3 months away, it sounded like I had a whole bunch of time. But 11 weeks does not sound like a whole lot of time to put together the biggest party I’ll ever throw. Panic ensued. Only, I’m not sure why, because in all honesty, I think I am pretty on top of most things wedding-related. Our next task will be putting together and sending out invites. We’ve made the parts of the invites that we needed to make (I only have a little cutting to do – we printed 4 sets of directions/sheet and need to cut them apart). It’s not going to be an easy task – there’s about 150 to send out, and in an ideal world, I’d like the time to do calligraphy on each one. But still, I think we are on top of things – we’ve still got at least 2 weeks before they need to be sent out.

And I think that having the house in Kentucky is really starting to wear on me. I mean, I am trying to be patient since I really have no control over the situation, but let’s be honest: I am not always very patient. I just wish it would go away so that we can move on with our life here.

Jeez. Now that I list all that out, it doesn’t seem that bad. We should talk more often, blog friends.

But, these things have kind of worn me ragged this week and I’ve been cranky and generally no fun to hang out with.

But then! These showed up with the mail:

The note reads: Hi Jen! Thought these were fun and would brighten your day.  Love, Mom

I have the BEST. MOM. EVER.

July 17, 2008 at 10:09 pm 2 comments

gardening and more yard work

I know that the title of this post has you on the edge of your seats. Much excitement here to start off the work week right. Yes.

Anyways, while I was busy posting about every wedding I’ve ever been to, and you were busy snoozing on your computer because it was terribly boring, nothing much happened.

And now I am going to tell you about it.

First, our garden. It’s growing. See? Here is a shot of the garden from last weekend:

And here is one from today:

Notice how the pumpkins are ready to take over our entire property. Crazy pumpkins. Yes, you were right, should NOT have planted them in our 4-square-foot garden. I still maintain that I am shocked anything grew, and if you’ve witnessed my track record with house plants, you would know why.

In addition to giganto pumpkin plants, it looks like we’ve got some promising tomatoes and peppers growing. Which is exciting, because I’ve got a million leaves of lettuce (picked out of the garden, of course) and could definitely use something to put on them.

Second, we did some more yard work last weekend, and finished up one of the planting beds near the new brick patio that we built. This was actually quite entertaining, as part of our gardening experience included visiting coworker and friend, Dan, and his awesome wife, Cheryl. Really, we went over to their house to help pull some perennials out of their perennial garden so that we could plant them in our own. (We have to be frugal with our plant spending since we blew the budget on the brick pavers). We ended up staying and hanging out on their deck for the afternoon, drinking iced tea with mint and beer, just relaxing. It was excellent… their house overlooks a lake, and the back yard was designed for privacy, and also to attract all sorts of wildlife. We saw a bunch of birds and whatnot while just chillin’ on the deck. Very nice and peaceful.

So that was last Saturday. We then spent much of Sunday finishing up the brickwork on the planting beds and then planting said beds. But I think it looks much better now, even if the plants look like they’re dying in the photos.

This is what it looked like last time I shared pictures:

And now:  (much better, no?)

And here is a view of the back yard from our side door.  Please ignore how horrible our grass is.  Jason assures me that we will fertilize and seed in fall and everything will be better next year.

View from the North, looking South.  That big ugly firepit was left here by the previous owners.  I would love to put it on the patio, right smack dab in the middle there, but it’s all rusty and will ruin our new pavers every time it rains.  So, instead, we will let it kill the grass weeds until we get a new one.

During our trip to Milwaukee 2 weeks ago, we managed to score some free lilac plants from my mom and grandma.  I was particularly excited to plant the ones from my grandma – they were off-shoots from her lilac bush, which she transplanted from my great-grandmother’s farm before the farm was sold.  Isn’t that amazing?  You should all know by now what an obsession I have with all things old and heirloom-y, so I am just pleased as punch to have these little guys growing in my yard.  Now let’s just hope JT can keep them alive.

July 13, 2008 at 11:17 pm 3 comments

Weddings That I’ve Been To, Day 4

Are you getting sick of these posts yet?  Or enjoying the trip down memory lane?

Wedding #13:  Erin (Jason’s cousin) and Tim.  Erin and Tim had a very swanky event in the bride’s hometown, just outside of Philly!  They had a full mass at a beautiful old catholic church,  followed by a very nice reception at a country club.  Here’s a shot of Jason and I during the cocktail hour (you can see some of the golf course in the background of this shot):

Here’s a shot of most of the ladies in Jason’s family:

And here’s one of the beautiful bride, Jason’s sister, and Jason’s cousin:

And, just to end the fantastic evening in a very special way, Kevin and Jason had to break into their parents’ house because they didn’t have the key:

Wedding #14:  Emily and Drew.  I’ve known Emily since high school.  Em and Drew met at Creighton University and got married in St. Louis, in the church where Emily’s parents were married.  Isn’t that sweet!?!  Anyways, Jason and I decided to make the 9 hour drive from Minneapolis to St. Louis to attend (okay, I decided we should drive, Jason just went with it).  Here’s JT and I (yes, same outfit again, I know!!):

Emily and Drew’s reception was held at the botanical gardens in St. Louis.  Here’s a shot of my high school girls and I at the reception (from left to right: Kitty, Amanda, Me, Carrie):

A shot of the girls and I with the beautiful bride:

And, of course, I shot of the arch.  I made Jason pull off the highway for this one… only, we pulled off in kind of a sketchy industrial area.  Jason was NOT impressed.

Wedding #15:  Chuck and Jeanine.  Chuck was one of Jason’s college roommates, and Jeanine was the girl across the hall.  So, naturally, it only made sense for the wedding to be held at their alma mater, Loyola College in Maryland.  Here is the church (it totally reminds me of the church at St Olaf College, my alma mater):

Here’s a shot of Jason and two of his other college roommates, Thom and Erik.  We’re really excited that they’ll be able to make it to our wedding – Thom and his better half (hey! he admitted it on his own blog!), Onora, are coming from Seattle, and Erik is coming all the way from Italy to join us!!

Thom and Onora.  Thank goodness Onora was there… she was my partner in crime for the evening.

Jason and I.  Note my cheesy big grin.  Somebody (or two somebodies, actually) may have had a lot to drink at this wedding.  The next morning may have been rough.  Fortunately, there are no incriminating photos of me threatening to elbow the bridesmaids out of the way to catch the bouquet.

Wedding #16:  Josh and Katie.  Josh and I met my Junior year of high school.  He was always the organizer of things, most of the time, the organizer of crazy, random, fun things.  Like the night soon after Christmas where we pulled all of the Christmas trees that people had placed on curbs into our friend, Julie’s yard.  It was a hoot, and I’m sure she really appreciated it the next morning.  So, anyways, when Josh announced that he had met someone cute and she agreed to marry him, there was no way I was going to miss the wedding.  Even if it was in Indianapolis.  Unfortunately, I have only 2 pictures from the evening.  First, me and the Malmstrom brothers.  Troy is the cool guy on the left with the sunglasses – I used to carpool with him my senior year (actually, I just drove because he didn’t have his license yet), and I’m certain that I annoyed him the entire way.  Matt is on the right, and he’s the first guy I ever conned into going to the ballet.  We dated for 5 minutes, until I realized I was in high school and not really into dating anyways.

2.  Adam and I.  Adam is another BCHS (Brookfield Central High School) grad, and his parents live down the street from my parents!

Jason and I had so much fun hanging out with these kids that we all went out with them after the wedding.  Actually, we had so much fun that I got sick on the drive home the next morning.  Which was not great, since we had to make a stop in Milwaukee to take the annual Perry Family Christmas Photo.  So, if you’ve seen the 2005 edition of the PFCP, that might explain why I was slightly green.  Very Christmasy and festive.  Not quite so much fun.

Oh man, I STILL HAVE MORE!  So there will be at least another day of this wedding madness.  Perhaps I should have titled this latter section, “Times I drank too much and got sick the next day”  – might be more fitting.

July 9, 2008 at 10:49 pm 6 comments

Weddings That I’ve Been To, Day 3

Apologies for my lack of posting last night – Jason and I went to my cousin’s house for dinner and I came home with a migrane. I suspect it was caused by laughing too much… either that or my horrible posture causing the muscles in my neck to tense up and ache.

Anyways, up today: Jen does the chicken dance! This won’t be the last you see of my chicken dance moves… just wait ’till the wedding. I hope you all know and love the chicken dance and the electric slide – it wouldn’t be a wedding without those. And we’ll need a polka also. Because, come on, how much more German Milwaukee can you get?

Wedding #9: Uncle Brian and Aunt Jackie. I am so sad that these are the only pictures I have from this wedding. Jackie’s dress was amazing, and I wish I could show you all how cute she was! Brian and Jackie got married in this big huge old fancy catholic church, and Jackie wore her mom’s wedding dress (Jackie’s sister also wore the same dress – each had it altered just slightly to fit their style). I love it! I would totally wear my mom’s wedding dress… if it wasn’t horrible 80s style. I just don’t think any amount of alterations would turn it into something I’d ever wear (sorry mom, but you also said that you hated your wedding dress, so I don’t think I’m being too offensive here). Anyways, the chicken dance. Check out that huge grin on my face… must have been a good time. (also, look how much Robby has grown since Sunday’s post!)

Oh man, I am breaking it down in this shot: (I’ve since decided that those white shoes are not my favorite with the blue dress. What was I thinking?)

Wedding #10: Jake and Christina. This was the first friends wedding that I went to – Jake and Christina were college friends, and I had chemistry classes with both of them. They were married at our alma mater the year after graduation. Again, I have no pictures of the bride and groom, but here are some of me. Here is me with friends Jared and Katie (also fellow chemistry majors):

And, pictures of me with my awesome friend, Stacy, whose wedding you’ll hear about soon…

It’s a little bit sad to see these pictures, actually, because I haven’t kept in touch with Jake, Christina, Jared, or Katie. It almost makes me wonder who of our current friends we won’t be in touch with in another 5 years… I hope one of the perks of getting married when I’m a little older is that I’ll be able to keep in touch with all of the friends that will attend our wedding.

Wedding #11: Kevin (Jason’s brother) and Amy. Kevin and Amy’s wedding was by far one of the more fun weddings we’ve been to. I was a little nervous at first, having just met Jason’s family a few months earlier, but they are all just so darn nice that you can’t help but like them. The wedding took place in Chapel Hill, NC, and the weather was absolutely beautiful. Good thing, too, because they had a very impressive outdoor reception held in tents in their backyard. Again – this is one of those things that I am not brave enough to pull off – because I would have freaked out for MONTHS that it was going to rain. But not Kevin and Amy. They were cool as cucumbers that week.

Here’s a shot of the wedding party:

Jason, Bridget (his sister), and I: (note that I am guilty of wearing the same dress to 2 weddings. also, that dress only cost $20! I am proud of my deal-finding ways.)

The Ross’ and I:

Jason giving his best man speech:

Wedding #12: Mike and Colleen. Leenie was my next door neighbor in high school, and of course I was *thrilled* when she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding (she’ll return the favor in October)!! Their wedding was also super-fun, and she was such a laid back, calm bride. Hopefully I’ll be the same…

Colleen’s mom hosted a bridal luncheon on the day before the wedding. She treated us to a delicious lunch, and then gave a lovely speech about how all the ladies in the room will be who Colleen goes to when she has a rough patch in her marriage, and will be who Colleen celebrates with when things are going well. It was kind of a tear-jerker. I just love the idea of getting all the girls together the day before the wedding, but am doubtful that I have the time to plan something like this. Anyways, the picture:

And on to the actual wedding day. Here’s a shot of the other bridesmaids and I – check out how gorgeous the flowers are!

The wedding party:

Jason and I:

Cutting a rug at the reception: (you’ve seen this one already, but I wanted to remind you how fun it was. we danced all night!)

Stay tuned tomorrow… just a few more in this series, and if you’re lucky, maybe I’ll have some good stories.

July 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm 4 comments

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