Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vincennes, IN!

Two weekends ago Mike and I ventured to Vincennes, IN to check out Mike's home and visit with Jack and Sharon (Mike's parents).  We did so many wonderful things, I'm actually considering this "small town" thing as a great option for the Mahoney's (maybe...I still have my heart set on living in DC or NYC at some point in this great adventure!).  So, here are a few highlights:
Loving the perfect weather while taking in some history!

We toured the Vincennes Memorial (Ft. Sackville), where George Roger Clarke helped conquer the British in the American Revolution, securing the midwest region.  Vigo (the statue, right), the merchant, was a support to Clarke during the war. 

We also visited the Vincennes Farmer market, which was great, before attending the Vincennes Chili Cook-off. I kid you not, we went to a chili cook-off...and it was amazing!  We got to try 10-12 chili's (there were more but we got full), including a white chicken chili that Mike's dad loved (kind of alfredo-y, but sitll tasty) and a lot of other delicious, inventive, and spicy chili's! 
Chili cook-off

 Part of the chili cook-off also included the Vincennes University Greek Life participating in their famour bathtub races.  Again, not kidding, it was fantastic!  There were three guys pushing behind a girl driving these mobile baths down a "track"/street to see who did it the fastest..totally fun!
Bathtub races

One of our main reasons for visiting Vincennes this particular weekend, however, was to see Jack and Sharon perform in their local theater production.  They work year-round with the Old Town Players to produce some great shows, but this one was special: Sharon wrote the play and Jack directed it!  "Medieval Malarky" was a wonderful show and we had a fabulous time seeing the show with Mike's best friend Jason and his wife Molly (we also had delicious Mexican before going, with yummy Sangria, but that is besides the point!). 

Medieval Malarky

We also managed, at some point in the weekend, to go to a beautiful Vineyard & Winery in Illinois called Lasata, where we tasted some great wines and shared a bottle, sitting outside to enjoy the fantastic fall weather!

Lasata Vineyard & Winery

Vincennes was a beautiful town and it was so great to see where Mike comes from and what he's all about (sort of).  He took me on a tour of the city, which took about 30 minutes :) but we got to see all of his favorite childhood places, schools, and University.  We also got a chance to visit with Sharon's sister and brother-in-law, Suzie & Kieth, and I got to meet Sharon's son, Sean and his lovely girlfriend, Amy.  We were so glad that we got to catch up with everyone, especially Jack and Sharon, it really was a FANTASTIC WEEKEND!!  We, of course, wished that Lloyd could have come to visit with us, but he had a great time being over-fed at the boarders all weekend.  I, personally, can't wait to go back and experience even more wonderful things in Vincennes!!
Red Skelton-the famous comedian from Vincennes!

The Basilica of Vincennes

P.S. We saw Contagion while we were in Vincennes...which is a great film, if you like germs, disease and world catastrophy in the near-future.  Just saying. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Cake Dome

We were given many lovely wedding gifts, 99% of which we registered for TOGETHER.  I will get to the point of why together is important.  One of those gifts was a beautiful glass cake dome from Crate & Barrell that my Brother-in-law's mother sent us, such a kind and generous gift.  I'll add at this point that Mike was a trooper through the registering process; "we" picked very kitchen-oriented stores and he let me pick many items that he might not have deemed necessary for our survival as a married couple and our kitchen.  NOT included in those items, however, is the cake dome that we registered for TOGETHER during our trip to Crate & Barrell (our first registry and first engaged task together in preparation for the big day!).  All of this to say that when the cake dome arrived, in it's exciting gift wrapped box, with excessive amounts of ribbon, Mike was very confused about 1.) what a cake dome was, and 2.) why there was one sitting in our kitchen.  He though I secretly went and added the ever-so-seductive cake dome when he wasn't around, or worse, went online and changed our registry without consulting him!  I would do a lot of uncool things, but this isn't one of them, I was really excited about doing this TOGETHER!

To overcome his horror that we owned this "thing"-seemingly unnecessary, apparently-Mike declared that there needed to be something in the cake dome weekly to rationalize keeping it in our home.  And thus my task of filling the cake dome began.  I won't lie, there isn't something in the cake dome every week, we would be fat (well for sure I would, Mike has a tape worm so he'd probably still look the same) and it would be quite costly.  But I do try to make something a little special or fun for the Hubs often enough that he doesn't have to nudge me about the cake dome.  Which he does.  When I don't make things often enough.  Ask me about the can of pumpkin sometime, that was a special story :)

Pumpkin jokes aside (are there such things as pumpkin jokes?!), the cake dome has become a staple in our kitchen and a sign of our love in marriage.  Mike is comfortable enough to tell me to get in the kitchen and put something in the cake dome (no, he doesn't say it quite like that, it's usually funny), and I'm in love enough to want to make things for Mike as a treat for being such a fabulous Husband and man-friend.  In case you were wondering, there are currently some extremely average/not great pumpkin cheesecake muffins in the dome.  He's still happy to eat them even though they're sub-par, and I'm glad all the pumpkin is used up...for now.  What a fantastic wedding present!! :)

Spicy pumpkin bars.  Not a great picture, but they were delicious!

Moral of the story: eats lots of sugary treats and give to each other!  Also, don't make pumpkin muffins from the recipe I used, inquire if you're a muffin maker (yes, I just said muffin maker)!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Time for another Lloyd blog!

It's been at least week, which is a long time in puppy world!  And we love him, he at least deserves a weekly picture update!

15 weeks old!
So, Lloyd is now almost 16 weeks old and he's getting big.  Well, big is relative, but a lot bigger than he was, and he won't stop it.  He now weighs almost 16lbs, most of which seems to be in his super long legs!  This past Monday he had the big surgery (we try not to say the "N" word!), so he's currently wandering around the condo looking like a cone-head and being even more goofy than usual.  He's mastered getting up and down stairs with the e-collar, but sometimes he's just a bit wider than he realizes and gets stuck on walls, or furniture.  It's special, we laugh at his expense quite a bit :)
Shaved leg from the IV

On drugs

Not happy about the e-collar, or the reason for it!

He's been feeling much better since the first day (he puked all over Mike's car, and me, and then again when we got home), and hasn't seemed to notice exactly what's different-although the cone is keeping him from finding that out at the moment. 

Other than the big snip snip, he had a great weekend with Aunt Ivy and Uncle Adam's visit!  We took him to the beach to play, which proved harder than we thought, but lots of fun for Lloyd!  He's still a little intimidated by the water at times, but he LOVES digging in the sand and playing on the beach!


He looks pained, but he was having an amazing time playing on the beach!

  He's been sniffing around for George a lot this week, but has otherwise been in great spirits considering!  Growing like a weed and keeping Mike and I entertained every day!

Cute/pathetic little cone-head! We love you, Lloyd!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My first "child": George Smith-Mahoney

The model, the man, the "it" :)
He preferenced the hyphenated name, it was his choice, and we felt it was the least we could after the "trauma" of having to move in with Milton first, and then Lloyd. 

After 8 years of good, bad and really hysterical times, George died on Saturday, September 3rd.  He wasn't feeling well early Saturday morning (he had been sick and wasn't able to walk much or comfortably), so I took him to the vet, fingers crossed that he had an ear infection or something simple.  Not the case.  After an exam and an x-ray, the vet recommended that they perform an "exploratory" surgery to see what the mass they found was, or if it was fixable.  They performed surgery and found that George had a ruptured cancerous mass in his small intestine that had spread all across his abdomen and had caused a serious infection in his system.  Devastatingly, there was nothing we could do to help George get better and had to say goodbye to him for good. 

Since Saturday, I've had up and down moments (mostly down), thinking about George and how much we miss him in our everyday lives.  But there have been a lot of funny memories and stories that have come to mind too.  Mike and I joked about our decorative pillows, a "favorite" of George's every night....if you don't know more details on this spsecial little quirk of George's, don't ask.  I was recounting the last time George went to the vet, where he also had major surgery, and came home with an e-collar and a shaved behind, trying to keep his dignity while pooping out what can only be described as human-sized poop after being at the vet for over two weeks. It was a particularly hilarious, and stinky, moment in our lives.  Ivy and Adam were kind enough to indulge me in stories of George also, which always includes the one of Sophie chasing George up a 40ft tree outside the pod (you had to be there, it really was amazing)!  Ivy even poured out some beer for her homie George, he would have been upset that she wasted beer, but appreciative of the gesture!

Mike and I are slowly getting used to the changes, no George to help supervise shower time or our morning bathroom routine in general (every time you walked in to the closet you had to give him a head butt and a kiss), no George to climb on my chest and put his nose to my nose while I scratch his head, and no George to walk around over my shoulder all morning and after work, getting his dose of mandatory affection before he wanted to be left alone.  And no George for Lloyd to climb on or eat his tail (the chunks of orange fur sticking out of his mouth always gave this away, we didn't willingly let Lloyd eat his tail), most importantly!  He was a wonderful part of my life for 8 years and Mike's for 1 1/2 years and it's been a devastating loss, but we are trying to take the good memories in with the sad times.  We received his cremated ashes today, it was tough.  But when it gets really bad, Mike gives me a head butt and lets me rub my cheek against his and it feels a bit better.  So here's to one of the most beautiful, entertaining, and loved cats/children there was, you will be missed Georgie and we love you! 

Taken of George last week, as he watched me rolling around on the floor taking pictures of Lloyd!

P.S. Thank you all for your kind words and support during this hard time for us.  I am well-aware that this kind of sentiment about a cat seems excessive or dramatic to some people, but he meant a lot to us and we are very grateful for everyone's understanding!

P.P.S. A special thank you to Ivy and Adam for being such wonderful guests on such an unfortunate weekend!  They came to the vet, did everything they could to help and and were so understaning despite it being their anniversary weekend trip.  We love you guys!