Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Three Years, oh my....

This past weekend Chris and I took a much needed long weekend to Hocking Hills (now only about 35 minutes from where we live). HH has been the place we spend our anniversary, and we love going to the same cabin (last year we missed due to my lack of vacation time). This year we returned to our home away from home, and we had a blast. Chris and I hiked some of the trail he would be running (his first 10k race and a trail race as well) the following day. We ended the day making pizza for dinner (inspired from our time in Rome) and smores for dinner.

Here are some great pictures:

The following day Chris would be running his first 10k in the Indian Hills run (a trail run which had a 5k, 20k, 40k, and 60k going on at the same time). He kept worrying about getting lost or breaking a bone, and well I worried about that too (I just didn't admit it). Well, oh thee off little faith, I learned my lesson when I watched him charge up a hill with only one mile to go and he was just speeding past the other runners (which at this point many were slowing or walking, and boy I could not blame them). In the end Chris ended up second in his age group and 1oth overall, but even more important he walked away without any spills. After the race we went back to the cabin before going out to Cantwell Cliff for another hike. We then ended the evening with a wonderful dinner at the Inn at Cedar Falls.

Below are some pictures:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Handyman Honaker!

On top of our exciting encounter with political heavyweights this past Labor Day weekend, Chris and I (mostly Chris)worked on finishing some much need home improvements. Recently we completed the painting and installation of a new mirror and light fixture in our downstairs powder room. It may sound easy enough, but one thing Chris and I have learned is no job in this house is an easy one.

I still have not decorated or really decided on what I want to do with it, but at least it is painted and the old wall paper is down.

The more significant project that was accomplished was the master bathroom. When we moved into the house we knew that this room would need some TLC. After a year in the house and not really enjoying such a nice large bathroom and soaking tub we (well mostly Chris) decided to try our hand at renovation. First we laid down some great stone like tiles that can go right on top of the existing floor.

Then while doing the floor we decided that we would go ahead and tackle the vanity top. It was cracking when we bought the house and so we knew that it would need replaced, we were just reluctant to do something we could mess up. Well the vanity top was so very easy. What was not so easy was changing the faucet. Like everything in our house, updates have never come simply (it's like they never thought anyone would want to change a light fixture so whats the big deal if we create the whole with our fist). After many trips to Lowes and Sears hardware, and after about 10 hours of work Chris finally succeeded at getting the plumbing attached and the faucet up and running. This is our final result (so far).

We still have to paint the room and I have ordered a new light fixture. Then of course general decorations. It took a year to get this far I just hope it won't take another year to complete.

For those of you who have note seen the inside of our house or the front with the bushes torn out and the new landscaping I am posting some updated pictures for your.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Shaking Hands with the Future President!

On Saturday August 30, 2008 Chris and I joined several new friends (volunteers of Barack Obama's) and stood in line at Dublin Coffman High School with 20,000 other supporters to hear Barack Obama and Joe Biden speak.

We could not have asked for better spots righ against the fence. Our prime real
estate gave me the chance to not only shake hands with Governor Stickland, and Senator Joe Biden, my list also includes none other than Senator Barack Obama himself (although I was almost trampled for this honor). Later this week I will post more about the speech and experience for now enjoy some of my pictures from the event.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The American Promise: Barack Obama Makes History!

In Denver, Colorado on August 28, 2008 Senator Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech in front of nearly 80,000 people, and millions watching at home. After attending a watch party with local Barack Obama volunteers, I went home to watch the convention speech and even took pictures of the speech (yes I took pictures of my TV, I know cheesy).

The portion of the speech I enjoyed the most is when Barack Obama went line by line on wht he will do:
So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise." -Barack Obama

To read the whole speech you can visit here: http://www.barackobama.com/2008/08/28/remarks_of_senator_barack_obam_108.php