Room with a view

We made some updates to Alex’s room in the last few months thanks to his grandmas! Grandma Dianne got him the new table and chairs – perfect for his cars and trucks! Grandma Gloria gave him a Christmas gift for another piece of furniture and we ended up getting this cool organizer that matches. Looks great! Thanks so much grandmas!

Sidenote: we actually just re-arranged Alex’s room today, so it looks different from the photos taken earlier this week!

Facebook…the Final Frontier

This article “Why I Hate Facebook” pretty much sums up why I won’t join:

But I honestly don’t have the time to commit to Facebook…And after sitting at a computer typing all day, the last thing I want to do when I get home is sit in front of another computer so I can upload photos to my Wall and read 25 random things about a high school classmate I haven’t spoken to in 18 years.

This movie is pretty hilarious as well – if Facebook were real life:

The only thing worse than Facebook, is that stupid “Tagged” crap. Talk about obtrusive and annoying…I lasted less than 24 hours on it after getting repeated invites from a very minor acquaintance. Not wanting to seem rude, I relented and joined, only to be bombarded by “tags” and invitations to “tag” random people who I have never met before. So, I’ve just sworn it all off. It’s more trouble than it’s worth, and I plan to instead invest my time twittering about my boring life (not).

I do think it will be fascinating to see how younger kids and future generations will be in terms of privacy. With technology, everyone can showcase their lives in front of millions of people…from the mundane to the important. Is that a good or bad thing? Is it so wrong to want to keep things more private? Am I being a total hypocrite by having a blog and slamming Facebook/Myspace? Probably.

But hey, at least one of us has caved into the Facebook frenzy! You can:

A. Become friends with Matt
B. Write on his wall
C. Play Scrabble with him
D. And so on and so on…

Go right ahead, he’s at 127 friends and counting…

Happy Birthday to My Irish Twin!

My sister Sammy has her birthday today – have a great one, sis! Being an Irish twin, we are 11 1/2 months apart, so for two magical weeks, we are the “same” age. It’s always a nice little reality check for me that it’s getting closer to upping my age a year! Have a great one and give those darling kids of your a big hug and kiss from us!

And this wouldn’t be a proper birthday wish without mentioning that she shares her birthday with a famous person…Abe Lincoln! (who turned 200 this year as well) As a long-running family joke, we always have to slip in a vaguely creepy reference to Ol’ Abe as well!

Second (Class) City

Chicago — The Worst Place On Earth?
According to, it’s the third most miserable city in the country! (And even more surprising, Chicago is higher on the list than Detroit! I mean, Detroit — where this kind of stuff happens!)

From “Chicago would seem to be on quite a roll these days. The city is a leading contender to host the Summer Olympics in 2016. The hometown Cubs had the most wins of any team in the National League last year and are one of the early favorites to win the 2009 World Series. And, of course, one of its own just became the most powerful person in the world (we’re not talking about Oprah either, but she’s close).

So with all of the good vibes coming out of Chicago, how does it show up as the third worst city on our second annual list of America’s Most Miserable Cities?

Lousy weather, long commutes, rising unemployment and the highest sales tax rate in the country are to blame for the Windy City being near the top of our list. High rates of corruption by public officials didn’t help either.”

Read the rest of the article here.

I will be the first to agree that Chicago in the wintertime is probably the most miserable place on earth sans Green Bay. If you aren’t worried about digging your car out from the snow and saving the spot, a la “dibs”,

or making sure that you have enough layers on to handle the walks to and from public transportation,

then you’re probably dodging falling icicles from skyscrapers,

or braving the Lake Michigan Zephyr as it roars off the shore and flattens your face.
All photos courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

One time I remember waiting for the 151 bus at Sheridan and Diversey…and waiting…and waiting. It was one of those -20 wind chill days where exposed skin can get frostbite in about 5 minutes. No cabs were available, a bus or two went by without stopping because it was so packed. I remember wanting to cry so badly because I was so bone-chillingly miserable and cold…only to consider that my lashes would probably freeze to my brows if I did. Thankfully, an office building lobby was open or I would probably be missing a finger or toe.

I really was not looking forward to having to drive regularly when I moved to DM. And part of me still hates being dependent on a car. But not during the winter time. Oh, sweet, sweet garage! You make “dibs” meaningless…my patio furniture never has to double for a parking spot!

Alex and Otto

Check it out – the weather was beautiful today in Des Moines! It got up to 57 degrees, and all of us couldn’t wait to spend some time outside. Alex got to play in the park for awhile, then we went home and played with Otto in the backyard. Even the surly decorative cats joined us on the deck for awhile.

Check out more photos on our Shutterfly site

Lincoln: “Hey, hey, hey, I hear there’s a party goin’ on out here!”
And poor Otto had to contend with the air siren test for about a minute or so…

Bowled Over

So grandma gave me a haircut last week and something about it reminds mom and dad of someone…


And for those of you who don’t know, one of the most famous events in Iowa happened this very day 50 years ago. The plane carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper crashed outside of Clear Lake. It’s been all over the news here, and I’m sure it’s getting some national attention on the 50th anniversary. To show how influential their music has been, you only need to see this: