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FINE! After being tagged by 5 people (and nagged by one, thanks Janaiha), I’ll do it. I can’t promise it will be interesting.
 

  1. When it comes to fear, I have a crazy imagination. I am overly scared of a noise in my house being an intruder, I used to fear that I was going to see a demon at any moment and as a child, I was afraid of being flushed down the toilet.
  2. I have always had a great bed. It’s important to me that my bed be clean, overly fluffy and soft, not to mention a plethora of pillows. It can’t be too frilly and down is preferred.
  3. Sometimes, I forget that I am not white. I have, on more than one occasion, referred to myself as a white girl. Don’t hate; you know you’ve done it to me, too.
  4. I am globophobic. That’s right. I am scared of balloons. It’s a true phobia: an irrational fear. I can stand to be around balloons if no one is touching them (especially small children), but the second I think one might pop, I get nervous and “fight or flight” kicks in, no joke. Don’t believe me? The kids at Hayden’s 2nd birthday party couldn’t play with the balloons because of ME.
  5. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to checking my email. It’s usually the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do before I get into bed, with multiple times in between. Sometimes, I don’t reply to emails immediately because I don’t want people thinking all I do is check my email. But now you know the truth.
  6. I love fast food. I don’t care that it’s bad for me (as evidenced by my expanding waistline). I could eat it anytime.
  7. I have to smell things before I eat them. It’s just a precursor to taste – why not get the whole experience?
  8. I always have the urge to engage in deep conversation with Drew right before we go to sleep, even though Drew’s attention span is at it’s worst when he is half sleeping. I think it’s because I’m so relaxed (please refer to #2). Either way, it’s something I’m trying to work on. We’ve had several discussions about how this is not beneficial, as Drew just wants to go to sleep.
  9. I cannot eat reheated poultry. There’s a weird taste to it. Ew.
  10. I rarely shave my legs. It’s not because I’m gross, it’s because my leg hair barely grows. It’s a little freakish, but a great perk of Asian genes.
  11. I like a good chick flick…and am a little embarrassed to admit that. To be fair, I only like the actually good ones. That new Shopaholic thing looks stupid.
  12. All the guys I’ve ever been attracted to have had dark hair. And I married a brown haired man.
  13. My dream house is a cookie cutter model in a suburban neighborhood, give or take a picket fence.
  14. I get attached to inanimate objects and usually have to convince myself they don’t have feelings. My childhood bear? Definitely happy to see me. My car that just got totaled? Feeling abandoned and alone. It hurt my heart to walk away from it at the scrap heap.
  15. I live vicariously through other people too often. This is the reason I’ve always loved reading, probably why I became an English major and history minor and why I enjoy people watching. This is also why I can’t watch super sad or super scary movies. It’s too much for my heart to bear everyone’s grievances and fears.
  16. Simple things are the best things. Add a little plain in there and it’s even better. Cluttered billboards, super trendy accessories, complicated restaurant menus, busy art, and unorganized music all get on my nerves. I’d live in jeans and a t-shirt everyday if I could.
  17. I have picked out names for most of my children. I’d like at least four, and I’d prefer it if they were all girls. :) Drew just wouldn’t know what to do with himself, his heart might just explode.
  18. I am a prime example of the metaphor which describes women’s thoughts as spaghetti. I love to-do lists, but usually work on everything on the list at the same time. I’m famous for starting things and not finishing them, but I think I’m getting better at this.
  19. I am more prone to get up before 8am when I don’t have anything planned for the day than I am when I have to be somewhere at a certain time.
  20. Over the course of my life, I have wanted to be all of these things: a ballerina, an author, an Olympic gymnast, a teacher, a lawyer, a college professor, the first female President, a Princeton student, a California girl, a missionary, a photographer, a wife, a mom. Some of these are still valid. :)
  21. At some point in my life, I want to be thrown a bangin’ surprise party, complete with turning on the light switch and my friends and family appearing from hiding places. I want to know nothing about it and be completely surprised.  
  22. I like knowing what’s going to happen before it happens. I like watching a roller coaster before riding it and reading the movie review before watching it. This stems from my need to be in control, which makes my desire to follow God rather difficult.
  23. Over the past year, my idea of success has been turned upside down. Right now, I live in my parents’ basement, have zero extra cash, no kitchen and not the slightest idea of what my life will look like next year…and I have never been more content in my life. Funny the things that prove to be important and true.
  24. I am legitimately scared of the dark. A pink, sparkly night light shines under my nightstand.
  25. Marrying Drew was the best decision I have ever made in my short 23 years, hands down. Admittedly, there are some decisions that deserve honorable mentions, but Drew smashes them all. 

Are you happy now, Andrew Scott Ackermann?! :)

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A quick “plus and minus” recap of our weekend:

  • Left Valentine’s Day gift for Drea at work. Husband fail. (-)
  • Finished Season 4 of Lost on DVD. So much more gratifying to watch episodes back to back. (+)
  • Contact lens debacle Saturday morning. In half-awake state, rinsed my lenses with disinfectant instead of saline solution. Talk about burn. (-)
  • Nice ride with Tom and Renata up to western MD; enjoyed novelty of driving on Beltway and I-270 without will-to-live-sucking traffic. (+)
  • Skied at Whitetail with Tom. Fulfilled need to ski at least once a year. (+)
  • Drea and Renata shopped at Hagerstown outlets while Tom and I skied. Everyone wins! (+)
  • Tom forgot gloves. $50 at ski shop. (-)
  • I forgot ski goggles/sunglasses. $30 at ski shop. (-)
  • Pretty much got taken for a ride by monopoly-exploiting jerks at ski shop. (-)
  • Multiple skiing fails on my part. Highlights: not going fast enough to make it over ski jump, sliding backwards down ski jump, almost getting taken out by snowboarder behind me, coming to painful grips with shocking degree of my imcompetence, AND skiing into a fence. Not the wooden kind, the orange plastic safety net kind. But still. (-)
  • Later redeemed myself by nailing a double black diamond. Boo-ya. (+)
  • Met up with Smizz in Hagerstown after skiing/shopping excursions. (+)
  • Tried to see Mall Cop. Sold out. (-)
  • Saw Coraline instead. Good, but freaking weird and definitely not for kids, despite PG rating. (+)
  • Smizz took us to a great little place called Cafe del Sol for dinner. Salsa, nachos, Yuengling, and meat-lover’s calzone. Delish. (+)
  • Starbucks for the ride back home. (+)
  • Sore muscles the next day. Self-loathe for not being in better shape and having to groan like an old man every time I stand or sit. (-)
  • Who cares? Our weekend was off the hook. (+)

I tried to ignore the blitzkrieg of Facebook tags for this “25 things” business, but alas! We’ve been blog-tagged, which seems to carry more authority than Facebook. (I don’t know why – it just does.) But as much as I would love to say that I’m doing this begrudgingly, I’ve actually enjoyed reading various people’s entries, so what the heck – why not join the bandwagon?

I’m going to try to make these fairly original and entertaining for you people, none of these obvious crap answers like “I don’t like it when people are mean to me.” So here goes:

  1. I love driving, but only when the route is a new one or one I haven’t done for awhile. I abhor my work commute, for example. And I used to hate the drive to and from Salisbury, but now that I only drive down there once a year or so, I actually enjoy it. (Gasp!)
  2. Our life group is becoming one of my favorite things about life right now.
  3. Hygiene is pretty important to me. It irritates me when someone who has the means to bathe themselves chooses not to and subjects the rest of us to their rancidness.
  4. Drea and I both have lists of people we would date if we weren’t married. If that sounds weird to you, then…well yeah it actually is pretty weird.
  5. I love my family. Ackermanns represent – for real. The older I get, the more I appreciate my parents and the way they raised me and my sisters. I don’t think Drea and I will do everything exactly the same, but I hope our family has the same closeness and healthiness as mine.
  6. I love books. (Yep, I stole this one from both Lammy and Leslie.) I became a reading junkie right after college, and I regret not picking it up sooner. Sometimes it actually makes me sad to know that there are great books I’ll never have a chance to read in my lifetime. My favorites of 2008 were The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, A Generous Orthodoxy, and In a Sunburned Country. I also love getting book suggestions from people, so keep those coming!
  7. Drea and I love our new (used) Prius. We drive it everywhere, and are looking forward to taking it on some road trips this summer!
  8. We used to want to get a family dog once we start having kids. But a few months ago we spent a week dog-sitting a puppy who was cute, but who also vomited and projectile-crapped all over the place. Repeatedly. So, yeah, we’re having some second thoughts about that.
  9. I love Google, and I use them for everything – email, calendar, documents, maps, web browser, news, RSS, even weather. Google is like the official sponsor of my life. Honestly, if they approached me to do a commercial, I’d probably do that crap for free.
  10. I hate to steal another one from Lammy, but here goes! I absolutely loved college. I met some of my best friends at Salisbury and had some of the greatest experiences of my life there. I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything, but sometimes I get hit with a wave of nostalgia for my college years. St. Martins 118/120 – good times.
  11. Casual dating is still something quite foreign to me. Drea and I already knew each other pretty well when we started dating, and I’ve never really dated anyone else, although there’s been an “almost” or two in there! :) I wonder sometimes how I’d be at the casual, get-to-know-you kind of dating. I’m guessing pretty sucky, as I’m generally not so great with the small talk, or, for that matter, the suave, debonair flirtation skills. Drea’s a lucky lady. :)
  12. I’m not much of a sports fan, but I did enjoy watching the Super Bowl last night. Probably like the third football game I’ve ever watched in its entirety. Who knows? Maybe I’ll nonchalantly follow the Redskins if they make the playoffs next year.
  13. My dad took our family on epic summer vacations when we were kids. Some of my fondest childhood memories are playing the license plate game or 20 questions in the car on the way to Colorado, Wyoming, San Diego, Seattle, or wherever. I can’t wait to do this with our kids.
  14. My verdict on the timeless toilet paper debate: over is right, under is wrong.
  15. My other verdict on the timeless toilet paper debate: scrunching is right, folding is wrong.
  16. I’m all about it when people take pride in their work, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Intentionally friendly cashiers, knowledgeable salespeople who actually help you find what you need, fast food workers who make an effort to move the line quickly – I’m all about it.
  17. I would never want to live somewhere that doesn’t get all four seasons.
  18. I tend to remember movie lines as being funnier than they actually are. Like, the part in The Wedding Singer where Adam Sandler’s sister and her husband are getting ready for a date, and the husband’s not ready to go, and the wife sticks her head in the door and yells “BILLY, MOVE YOUR ASS!” That line is hilarious in my memory, but when you actually watch it, it isn’t that funny. (And I don’t think the guy’s name is Billy.)
  19. This one is weird. Sometimes a certain moment of music and lyrics in a song will just blow me away, and I have to hear it again. For example, I love the line “dreaming of the Osaka sun” from the Coldplay song “Lovers in Japan”, and I rewind it multiple times whenever I listen to it. I do the same thing with the line “let us sing one true tune” from Switchfoot’s “The Beautiful Letdown”. Inexplicable, I know.
  20. One thing God has recently brought my attention to is my tendency to think unkindly about people I feel wronged by; a basic disregard of Jesus’ command to love my enemies. Sometimes my attitude just sucks. I’m really trying to work on this.
  21. My first car was my dad’s old ’88 Honda Accord which ran like a champ until it finally died at 264,000 miles. I’m now on my third Accord, and I love it. It gets good gas mileage, is reliable, handles nicely, and I wouldn’t change a thing about the dashboard layout. I’m sold on this car, and will probably keep buying Accords for the rest of my life.
  22. I wish we had a Denny’s in Upper Marlboro so I could get a French Toast Grand Slam anytime I wanted.
  23. I hate having to shave every morning.
  24. A good way to punish me would be to force me to sit and listen to country music for several hours.
  25. I eat breakfast cereal for all three meals, and I freaking love it. I’ll take a bowl of Life or Honey Bunches of Oats just about anytime.

So there you have it. My 25 things. I’m sure that with enough harassment, Drea will post hers as well. :)

After two great four-day weekends of staying up late, hanging out with friends, and generally goofing off, I’m going through holiday withdrawal this week. (What? A five-day work week? Are you freaking kidding me?) Ah, reality.

Our New Year’s weekend was basically off the hook from start to finish. Well, almost. Drea was in a car accident Wednesday afternoon with a guy in a pick-up truck who tailgated her for a mile or so before finally rear-ending her. But she’s fine and it looks like all our expenses, rental car included, will be covered through this guy’s insurance.

My work closed early on New Year’s Eve, which provided a little chill time before heading to the Janes home to celebrate (as was necessary as I’m becoming increasingly brain-dead after 10pm.) The festivities included homemade party hats, Renata’s homemade New Year’s version of Apples to Apples, and lots of Dance Dance Revolution, which I’m actually getting a little better at! (And “better” is a nice way of saying that, really, I just suck a little bit less at dancing.)

newyears

The gang at New Year's

The late nights didn’t end New Year’s Eve, as we spent Friday and Saturday nights hanging out with Tom and Renata and our life group, respectively. What began as a group bowling night turned into a game night at Mike’s house (bowling lanes were booked till late), playing Loaded Questions and Wii Bowling.

One New Year’s resolution of mine is to read more novels/fiction. I’ve realized recently that my reading diet is a little nonfiction-heavy. I’m about to start David Wroblewski’s novel The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, which I’ve heard great things about. Anyone have other suggestions?

Some more of my hopes for 2009 are to be more obedient in day-to-day things: prayer, Scripture reading, intentional silence, maybe even some community service. Less thinking/talking and more doing. Our blog-friend Kate McDonald recently shared some great stuff about this on her blog.

Anyway, I hope you’re having a great new year so far. Here’s to 2009!

During the past two days, we’ve seen what must be the two worst movies of 2008: What Happens in Vegas and Four Christmases. The former we watched with our friend Jess (Smizz) over the weekend. Good grief, what a trashy and banal piece of cinematic crap. To be fair, our On Demand choices were limited and Smizz and Drea, wanting a chick flick, made me choose between this and Made of Honor. (I wanted to watch Transsiberian but was hopelessly outnumbered.)

Thinking it couldn’t be any worse than Vegas, Drea and I went to see Four Christmases with our movie theater gift certificates last night. I was looking forward to Vince Vaughn’s usually hilarious monologues (a la Wedding Crashers) but few were to be found.

We have more free movie coupons to use, so we’re hoping to redeem our slump by seeing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button during the next few days.

In other news, Drea and I used our Carrabba’s gift card last night (at Outback, as it’s owned by the same company) and couldn’t help but laugh/be appalled at the statement printed on it:

giftcard1

“There is no love more sincere than the love of food.”

Wow. “No love more sincere”? That is quite an asssertion. Let’s see, there’s Jesus, my wife, my family and friends, our church, good music, traveling, books…

I mean, don’t get me wrong. My No Rules Pasta with chicken and shrimp, coupled with cheesy fries and a cold Fosters was fantastic. But is it really being implied that enjoying a Bloomin’ Onion is the highest form of love I’m capable of? Wow, thanks for the pick-me-up.

Speaking of sincere love (how’s that for a segue?), my sister Allison and Rich got married this weekend! Their wedding was filled with good music, great food and drink, lots of dancing, and lots of joy – as all weddings should. Allison was beautiful and she and Rich looked immensely happy. I’d like to offer them my public congratulations (as I’m sure they’re taking time to read this blog on their honeymoon.)

The aforementioned Smizz was in town for the wedding and stayed with us Saturday night, which was fun. The three of us stayed up until the wee hours catching up and engaging in the usual irreverent humor. Good times!

I/we might write a blog about our 2008 highlights sometime soon. If not, have a Happy New Year!

Christmas absolutely snuck up on us this year.  We smashed all of our Christmas shopping in one day last week!  Even still, I ended up at the mall today to make some returns and get a last minute Christmas need.  Ridiculous.  However, we are so grateful that this year, we are not stressed financially because of Christmas.  We have a sweet little place, great friends, wonderful family and we are happy.  Happy, happy, happy. :)

Despite Christmas creeping up on us, we did manage to get a Christmas card together!  We didn’t send one out last year, so it’s our first!  We didn’t send it to our local friends (sorry guys), but here it is for your viewing pleasure.

I know it’s not a very Christmas-y picture, but hey, we like it. :)  

We also got our tree!  We got another one from Home Depot this year (they are cheap and great).  When we went to look, the trees were all tied up.  We picked one according to height and didn’t bother to check the width.  When we untied it, we discovered it was as wide as it was tall!  So, it’s more like a Christmas bush.  Very stout indeed.

Drew did this.

Since we moved into a new place, we decided the best way to get motivated and put our house together was to host our small group’s Christmas party.  We had 3x the amount of food needed.  It was awesome.  We also did a white elephant gift exchange, which proved to be the hit of the night.  I got a singing bear puppet, and Drew got a set of plastic golf clubs which were used to play a continuous tournament of golf the rest of the night.  

Janaiha got a fabulous pair of socks.  I was so jealous.

Beth got this wonderfully oversized hat, which we all tried on.  Tim was a great model.

Tim and Beth brought Honey Buns, Iced Honey Buns and Nutter Butter bars!  Delish!

Our group is the best!  (Mike, there was a spot reserved for you right above Lewis.  The shadow on the wall is either your presence…or maybe the Holy Spirit.)

And we got the chance to do this:

Have a very merry Christmas!

Keeping true to my promise, here are my seven quirks.  Welcome to the weirdness.

  1. I listen to music I like over and over again.  Anyone of my former college roommates will tell you this is true.  If I am introduced to a song I enjoy, I will listen to it until I can’t stand it anymore.  This can last for months.  Some of these repeat songs include: The Kingdom by Bethany Dillon, Hosanna by Hillsong United, Fresh Feeling by The Eels, Save the Last Dance For Me by Michael Buble, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by Christy Nockels, Your Song by Elton John, Umbrella by Marie Digby, anything by Sara Groves and, as of recently, Today by Joshua Radin and Mighty to Save by Laura Story.  I highly recommend all these songs. :)
  2. I. Love. Soft. Things.  Clean laundry, unusually fluffy towels, Drew’s freshly shaven face, puppies…doesn’t matter.  If it’s soft, I want to rub my face on it.
  3. Please don’t try to get out of the car before I unlock the doors.  It’s a small pet peeve of mine: the passenger unlocking the door and getting out before I do.  I have a get-out-of-the-car routine.  Put the car in park, pull emergency brake, unbuckle my seatbelt, turn off the ignition, THEN unlock the doors and get out.  It must be done in that order.  
  4. Almost every morning, I wake up with a random song in my head.  I noticed this in college when I would wake up, step in the shower and realize I was humming a song.  These songs are extremely random and are not necessarily songs I have heard recently.  They have included I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, Show You the World from Aladdin, and the Charmin Ultra commercial jingle.
  5. I love buying new shampoo.  It’s like buying clothes.  I could spend hours in the shampoo aisle.  And there’s nothing like the feeling of blow drying my freshly shampooed/conditioned hair.
  6. Books about death fascinate me.  Drew posted about this strange interest of mine already, but it’s definitely worth being on this quirks list.  I ripped through a book about death in Yellowstone and am now plowing through death in the Grand Canyon.
  7. I cannot be awake by myself.  There is nothing I hate more than being awake ALONE.  If I wake up in the middle of the night, even to go to the bathroom, I wake Drew up.  I know I sound like a terrible person.  I just can’t stand it!  Kaley can attest to this as well, being my roommate when I went through a season where I thought demons were after me.  You are a good woman, Mrs. Patria.  And Drew, you are a fantastic husband.

I tag Kaley, LP, and Fisch!

And the game of blog-tag continues! Here are seven “quirky” things about yours truly:

  1. I love maps to an abnormal degree. I could be entertained for hours just reading an atlas, or looking around Google Maps. As a result, I’m a self-proclaimed whiz at geography. (Seriously, next time you see me, try to stump me!) I love seeing my dad’s side of the family because they’re all geography dorks too, and we have contests to see who can stump everybody else. (This past summer on our road trip, I stumped everyone except my Aunt Genny on the capital of Azerbaijan.)
  2. I freak out about little noises in my car. If there’s any kind of rattling or creaking, I seriously can’t relax until I know what it is and how to make it stop. This drives Drea insane, as I frequently assign her the task of locating the noise and stifling it.
  3. Thinking about cottage cheese makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. OK, not literally (yet), but let’s face it, folks: cottage cheese is disgusting. For me, it’s the texture. I mean, what is cottage cheese? Simply put, it’s a thick, semi-firm, creamy goo with chunks in it. That is simply horrifying. I think if I went on Fear Factor and had to choose between eating cow brain and cottage cheese, I might just go for the cow brain.
  4. I suck at team sports. To anyone who’s ever seen my “game”, this probably comes as no surprise. I’m a half-decent swimmer and distance runner, and I’m trying to get better at tennis, but I’m pretty much useless in games like football, basketball, or soccer. Simple tasks such as correctly throwing a football or sinking a basketball into a hoop are daunting challenges for me. My hand-eye coordination is probably comparable to that of a kindergartner. I have 8-year-old cousins who can beat me at “horse”. It’s sad, really. But it’s OK because my macho map-reading skills really make up for it.
  5. I habitually twirl my hair. I will inadvertently reach up and twirl a certain tuft of hair in the back of my head, especially when I’m tired. The tuft then takes on a life of its own, protruding “alfalfa-style” from my head and taking on a tangly coarse texture. It makes me look like quite an ass, which is why I’m careful not to do it until I’m home for the night, so only Drea can make fun of me (until now, of course.)
  6. The door thing. When I was little, I loved doors of any kind. The simple open-and-close mechanism fascinated me to an untold degree. I used to sit at my grandmother’s house and open and close her cabinet doors for hours. My mom used to reward me for good behavior at the grocery store by letting me run in and out of the automatic doors multiple times. I’m told that this made me an easily entertained child. (You’re welcome, Mom and Dad.) While the door phase has long since passed, I’m still generally fascinated by how things work. I love watching those extreme building/engineering shows on the Discovery and History channels about how they designed Japan’s “floating” airport, or a record-breaking roller coaster, or the world’s tallest building.
  7. I have eaten the same sandwich for lunch for the past six months. Drea packs my lunch most days (score), and about six months ago I decided that a turkey, pastrami, and cheese sandwich on pumpernickel bread sounded simply delicious. It’s now the only sandwich my sweet wife makes me, and it hits the spot every time. I try not to be close-minded about anything, but that sandwich hasn’t failed me yet, and I intend to continue my discrimination against all other lunchmeat sandwiches until further notice.

Drea has promised to list her quirks here as well, so you guys will have to hold her accountable! I’d also like to tag the Janes as the next “it” people. We know you guys are a couple of weirdo’s, so let’s hear about it!

Quirkily yours,

Drew

Being friends with Tom and Renata, Drea and I usually get in a little bit of parenting training with their kids when we get together to hang out. This weekend was no exception.

On Friday we all went over to my parents’ house in Dunkirk for Halloween duty, as my parents were on vacation in Utah. While Tom and Renata took the almost-2-year-old Hayden out for his first trick-or-treating excursion, Drea and I stayed behind to hand out candy and keep an eye on Jack.

This was when I had probably my first extended experience feeding an infant from a bottle. This was more of a challenge than I anticipated, as Jack engaged himself in an all-but-uninterrupted farting extravaganza the whole time, which resulting in a considerable amount of crying and allowing the bottle’s contents to dribble down his chin and neck. But I think I did OK for a rookie! (Diaper duty was averted as I realized that Jack had soiled himself only seconds before Tom and Renata returned. Score!)

The four of us ordered Chinese and debated over which movie to order. (The usually gore-averse Drea wanted to watch Interview With the Vampire – WHAT?) We eventually decided on Run, Fat Boy, Run, whose funny, off-beat humor made up for a somewhat predictable plot.

On Saturday night, Tom and I ended up driving to Lexington Park and back (110 miles roundtrip) because Drea and Renata lost their car keys at a wedding they were shooting down there. After dropping off a spare key, we grabbed some Taco Bell on the way back home with Hayden and Jack in tow. This is not unusual, as our wives are often off together on photo shoots on the weekends. We joke about how seeing two guys together with two kids probably leads some people to make incorrect assumptions about our lifestyle.

The weekend was topped off by meeting up with our life group people on Sunday night for a bonfire/pumpkin carving/fondue/Wii shindig, and much fun was had by all.

Life is good. Weekends are the bomb now. We miss living in Annapolis a little bit, but being closer to so many of our friends, and to our church, definitely makes weekends more relaxing and enjoyable. The fall colors are particularly stunning in our neck of the woods this week, and the weather is crisp and cool. AND (thank goodness) the Presidential race is over today! I’ve enjoyed the political conversations, debates, etc., but I’m definitely ready for it to be over.

Til next time, folks!

**As posted on the photoblog.

Last night at 9:01pm, Renata finally gave birth to sweet Jack!  Drew and I went to the hospital with some of our friends to see Jack for the first time, just an hour after his birth.

Without further ado, here is Jack.

Even though Renata looked fantastic, I want to respect her privacy, so here’s the closest shot you’ll get of mom and baby for now.  :)

I got to hold Jack!  He’s a whopper baby at 8 lbs. and 11 oz!  I could have held that sweet baby forever.  (Thanks for taking this picture Emily!)

Drew, Emily, our friends Patrick and Tif, and I tried to help Tom and Renata celebrate.  While we were waiting for Jack’s appearance, we made a welcome sign.  This actually said “Happy day of birth, Jack!” in it’s full form.

Mom, Dad and baby are doing great! 

Happy birthday, Jack!  We’re so glad you are here!