Friday, December 31, 2010

A Look Back on 2010

I know everyone's been saying it.

"Man, this year really flew by!"

"How is 2010 over already?"

"Did I really eat 5 dozen Christmas cookies over the past 6 days?"

Somehow we survived another year, and despite Andy's efforts to break his face and Toby's efforts to never walk again, the family is limping into 2011.

Early in the year we welcomed a new member of the family.


We traveled to 17 more Michigan breweries, bringing us to a current total of 57 visited out of the 83 brewpubs and microbreweries in the state. We also attended 2 beer fests to further experience all that Michigan has to offer in beer.



Toby turned 2 years old and underwent 3 surgeries to correct his ACL injury.


We took various trips throughout the year to Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Ireland, Virginia, North Carolina and assorted travels around Michigan of course.


I watched a baby grow into a little human.


Andy ran two marathons, including his first one in Ireland. He set new PR's in every distance he ran - 5K, 25K and the marathons.


I ran various 5K's, a 10K, a 25K and a half marathon and was able to set new PR's in each distance.


Overall, the year was filled with good times with friends and family. I'm certain the new year will bring new travels, new beer, new runs and new fun.


So even though 2010 seems to have passed far too quickly, I'm ready to see what 2011 has in store for us.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ummm, yeah, about your TPS reports . . .

So, I've been slacking.

But, I have super awesome excuses.

I bought Andy the Ken Burns' Baseball documentary for Christmas.

Hence, if I've been home, it's been on the TV. If there's ever a random baseball trivia game in my future, I'm going to own it.

I bought Andy beer for Christmas. And a new brewery opened up in Grand Rapids. And my friends have been in town and keep inviting me to bars. And my friends keep having birthday celebrations.

Hence, we've imbibing far more than usual. And after a long night of drinking, we purchased tickets to fly to Vegas in January. That's how much we've been imbibing.

Toby had surgery again. For the third time. For the same ACL injury. The vet referred to him as "clunky." As in "if I had realized how clunky he was, I would have added more reinforcements during the first surgery."

Hence, I've been hand feeding him ice cubes, rubbing his hamstring and crumbling Christmas cookies on his food in order to get him to eat.

Eventually though, I'll start blogging again.

Just as soon as Toby is healed, Andy's finished watching the Baseball documentary and they reinstate prohibition, that is.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Learning Something New Everyday

I'm in the bathroom getting ready as Andy gets out of the shower to dry off.

Me: "Why are you using my wet towel?"

Andy: "I always have to use your wet towel."

Me: "Why don't you use the dry one?"

Andy: "They're both wet. You use one for your body and one for your hair."

Me: "No, I use one for my body and then wrap my hair up in that same towel."

Andy: "Oh."

We've lived together for about 4 and a half years now.

4 and a half wet towel years for Andy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Alger Heights Halloween 5K

On Halloween Eve, before I went to Proctoberfest in the evening and drank beer and ate candy, I decided to do something healthy. Run.

The in-laws happen to leave a few blocks from the race start, so I signed up with the Proctors. Andy's knee is still iffy so he sat this one out. Instead he was on dog duty and brought my two biggest fans to watch the race.

The best part of the race?



I decided to pull out my 2008 costume and throw it on over my running clothes. It was easy enough to run in, but others chose more difficult options.


The race was a lot of fun and entertaining because of the people watching. I was able to post a decent time and it was fun to run with the Proctor Pumpkin family.


Toby was a frog, but the head portion of the costume has difficulty fitting due to him suffereing from elephantitis of the skull.

We all went home and celebrated with Andy's homebrewed Octoberfest and lots of goodies.

Including a banana split.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Driving Conversations.

Driving home one day and passing by a collie playing in a yard.

Andy: Look, a BGB.

Me: Awww. Do you think anyone has actually ever named their collie "Lassie"?

Andy: Probably.

Me: But it's so cliche it seems like nobody would never do it.

Andy: We had 4 beagles and named them all Snoopy.

Point taken.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Cone.

Hey Toby, why the long face?


Wait, something doesn't seem right here.


Oh no.


It's the dreaded cone.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Off the TV Grid

About a month ago, we received our Comcast bill. As would happen every 6 or so months, our bill had suddenly jumped up $40.

The old woman in me said in an old woman voice, "By jove! I'm tired of Comcast's cockamamy!"

We contacted Comcast to try to work something out that was reasonable.

Instead we found Comcast to be highly unreasonable.

Since we have no other cable providers in our neck of the woods, we decided to try out some tried and true rabbit ears for now.

However, last night the cable was cut and we had not yet purchased rabbit ears.

So what was this young, hip and happening couple to do without any TV?

We did a puzzle while listening to NPR Stories of the Day. In our house without cable. And then we went to bed at 9 pm.

29 is the new 89, kids.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What has 4 paws . . .

. . . and can't run in a straight line?


This guy.

He's been through a lot in the past couple of months. It all started at Disneyland for Dogs, a.k.a. the Dog Park. We were going to be leaving for Ireland soon and I was trying to fit in as many dog park visits as possible. I unloaded the pups and off they went.


Gordie, a dog built for running and athletic prowess, took off like usual in his full sprint.


Toby, a dog built for laying down and eating prowess, attempted to catch his brudder.

Toby failed in his attempt. Instead, I heard a pop, saw his hind leg come up lame, and he limped pathetically over to me.

A few days later, the vet confirmed our suspicions - he had torn his ACL. We had to get him into surgery, but we also were scheduled to leave for Ireland in 4 days. Fortunately, Toby has a great grandma in the form of my Mama, so she was able to care for the guy after his surgery. The vet confirmed during surgery that the tear was a bad one - he completely tore the ACL and his meniscus.

Remember, all he was doing was running in a straight line.


That's our Toby.

All is going well in his recovery to this point. He can't play or run off leash, but he can move around more and he's on schedule to be back to normal by Christmas.

I know he'd enjoy the Christmas present of being able to romp with his brudder again.

At which point I'm sure he'll promptly tear the ACL in his other leg.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Playing Dress Up

Getting ready for a wedding.

Andy: "How long will you need to get ready?"

Me: "Maybe 20 minutes. I have to get my dress on, fix my hair and put on some make up. How long do you need?"

Andy: "About the same. 45 seconds to put on my clothes and 15 minutes to figure out how to put my tie on."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Change of Plans

Andy and I awoke this morning with the best intentions.

We woke up and started driving downtown to complete a long run. On the way the clouds looked a bit too ominous and we were feeling a bit too lazy.

So we went to the beer store and got home brew supplies and some beers instead.

And here we are enjoying our first Autumn-like Saturday back in typical American fashion.

Brewing an Octoberfest.


Sipping some Pumpkin beer.


Enjoying the company of brew bears.


And listening to football.


Change is good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Positive: I stopped at the store to buy a Joe 6-pack of beer on the way home from work.

Negative: I was not carded and instead saw flash on the screen the following: "ID not required: Person over the age of 30."

Positive: The man behind me winked and said "Wow, you didn't get carded."

Negative: The man behind me was elderly and kind of creepy when he winked and said that.

Positive: I have a beer to drown my over-the-age-of-30-looking sorrows in.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back in . . . Green?

We are officially back from Ireland.

We spent about 22 hours either in an airport or an airplane on Saturday.

I didn't exagerrate. 22 long hours of me sitting in an airplane or aiport thinking about my furry guys back home.

But we made it safely so I can't really complain. We flew on September 11th too, which means I had to show my passport about 15 times before boarding the plane in Ireland.

Ok, I exaggerated. It was actually about 6 times and I can't say I minded the added security.

I'll be back with details of the trip. But before I can do that I have 1,548 photos to sort through.

I didn't exaggerate. I actually have 1,548 photos to pick through.

Here's one of the first pictures I took. I could have taken this same photo about 25 times over the vacation.

I'll let you guess whether I exaggerted that number or not.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Vacation

My blog took a bit of a summer vacation. It was really tired of books and teachers' dirty looks so it decided to take a break. Or perhaps the blogger behind the blog got lazy and busy with summer travels. One of the two.

We're still alive here and have a had a busy summer full of travels to other states and new breweries. We are about to embark on a two and half week tour of Ireland just 5 short days from now. In anticipation of a beautiful Emerald Isle, we purchased a new DSLR camera - the Canon Rebel. I bet you can't guess what we took our first pictures of.



I've been busily attempting to figure out how to take nice photos and reading up on Irish history and culture. I'll be back in a few weeks with hopefully some nice photos of our trip and tales of how we drank so much Guinness one night we saw a leprechaun.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

So close, yet so far away.

I think I've seen Andy cry twice.

I almost saw the third time last night.

We were listening to the Tigers game in the car while running errands, like any other night. Except on this particular night, history was in the making. Tiger's pitcher Armando Gallaraga was perfect through 6 innings. We rushed home to catch the rest on TV, not wanting to miss this special moment in sports history.

We started watching and he made it through the 8th inning fairly easily. Then came the all important top of the 9th - the Tigers playing at home. The fans on their feet, feeling the history they were witnessing. Gallaraga could be the 21st player in the history of baseball to pitch a perfect game. A person waits their whole life to see this moment for their team, and most don't get to experience it. The electricity was in the air. Andy and I were on our feet.

1st man at bat grounded out.

2nd man at bat hit a long fly ball out to center field, and Austin Jackson made an amazing catch. At this point, Andy and I were jumping up and down and I could almost see the tears of joy in Andy's eyes.

The dogs of course just wondered what the hell was wrong with us.

3rd man at the plate. 26 outs in a row and one more to go. Ground ball between first and second. Cabrera leaves his post at 1st to retrieve it, Gallaraga runs to cover first. Cabrera tosses the ball to Gallaraga, he catches it, tags the base, and the runner is out. A perfect game has been pitched.

Except, the ump calls the runner safe. Andy and I stop our celebration to stare in silence at the TV in disbelief. Replays show that the runner was clearly out. The call wasn't even close. Those tears of joy in Andy's eyes had now turned to tears of defeat. Frustration. Anger. Thinking you just saw the thing every baseball fan wants to see for their team - something historic. And then to see your pitcher robbed by a blown call.

It was like a punch to the gut.

Armando, you pitched a perfect game last night. Although it may not be official and it may not be written in the history books - you did it. You accomplished one of the most difficult feats in sports.

And for the record (in case Andy is reading this) he did not actually cry. He'd probably like me to point that out. Although, I wouldn't fault any man, woman or child for shedding a tear over what happened last night.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Engamorial Day Weekend 2010

Andy and I made our triumphant return to Engadine this weekend. We had missed the last two due to wedding business (like our own honeymoon). Shame on us. Here are some of the highlights:

- Driving up we saw a car with a pirate flag in the back window. This would have been sweet on it's own, but it was even more awesome because the vehicle turned out to be Eric Dennis and Company.

- I woke up Saturday morning around 5 or so, like normal. Upon awakening, I found that Troy was still up drinking from the night before. I'm not sure if he was delirious from lack of sleep or just plain drunk - but whatever it was made me laugh so hard I hurt.


- The best thing about a small town is the price of drinks at the local bars. A bottle of Stroh's and a vodka soda water cost a grand spanking total of $2.75 at the Pine. As such, we had a fine time at the Pine.

- When we left for town Friday, we put the dogs in the pen. When we left Saturday, we figured they'd be okay as they had settled into their new digs. Bad decision. Toby and Gordie tried to follow us. They went the wrong way though, which makes me think Toby was leading the expedition. The neighbors called and Papa Hoog rode his bike a mile down the road to retrieve them.

- Sugar donuts cut in half and stuffed with bacon are AMAZING.


- Favorite Quote: For the last hole of frisbee golf, you tee off from the front porch. Andy sat in a chair on the porch and said "Ahhh, this is my favorite hole because it's the most comfortable." Mama Hoogterp called from inside the house, "That's what he said!"

- Andy was playing HORSE on the basketball court on Saturday. He farted while doing a layup, and other competitors were unable to replicate the shot.

- Discussing who should drive after Andy had a couple of beers:

  • Andy: I could drive, but I'd probably blow over.

  • Me: Honey! That means you should NOT drive.

  • Andy: Oh please. I live half my life above a .08.
- On the drive up, Gordie used Toby's head as a pillow.


- On the drive back, Toby used Gordie's head as a pillow.


Considering the size of Toby's head, I think Gordie got the raw deal on that trade-off.

Now, as long as nothing gets in the way, I don't plan on missing another Engamorial Day for many years to come.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

2 Years

On May 24th, Tobias is officially a two-year old pup.

He's had a quite an eventful second year of life.

He spent most of his summer on the air conditioning vents.


Then played in the autumn leaves when the weather turned cooler.


He climbed to new heights.


He celebrated another Halloween as a frog dog.


And another Christmas as an official present opener.


He cooled off in the winter snow.


And became an Uncle Toby.


He spent a lot of time getting his Dad.


A whole lot of time.




But he also found some time to sit on his mom's lap.


He enjoyed his toys.


And sometimes he'd eat a hole in his toy and then get that toy stuck on his snout and whimper.

Yes, that really happened.


He spent a lot of time trying to get someone to play with him.


And got just that in an early birthday present when he got a new brother.


Happy Birthday Tobias Toby Guy Head.

May your head continue to be as large as your heart for many years to come.

Monday, May 17, 2010

2 Years and Counting

It's hard to believe we've been married for 2 years today. Together for about 5.

What makes it hard to believe, is that it feels like we've been together forever.

Yet somehow it also feels like our wedding was just the other day.


And just when it seems like life couldn't get any better, somehow he somehow manages to make me a little happier every day that passes by.

It probably has something to do with the animal t-shirts.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Day My Husband Got Arrested

It's storytime.

Once upon a time about 4 years ago, Andy dropped me off at the MSU library where I worked, and then headed back to Wayne State for one of his graduate classes. He must have been in a hurry, becuase apparently he was going about 35 mph in a 25 mph zone on campus. And a cop noticed.

He is promptly pulled over and notes that the cop is taking an extra long time pulling up his information. When the cops returns to the car, he informs Andy:

"You've got a warrant out for an unpaid fine."

That unpaid fine dated back about 6 months or so. We had been camping in a state park. A state park where alcohol was prohibited. We each had an Oberon with dinner while camping, and a bottle must have been left out. When we awoke the next morning one of the rangers had set the bottle on the rim of the fire pit and was writing us a fine for about $80. Andy decided to protest the fine by putting it into his wallet and forgetting about it.

Bad idea.

When Andy was pulled over, he had two choices. Go to jail and wait for someone to post bail or the officer was willing to let him post his own bail on the spot. He obviously chose the latter, but didn't have any cash on him.

So, my husband was handcuffed and placed in the back of the police car and driven to the nearest ATM at the Quality Dairy. He was then escorted into the QD with the officer keeping one hand on his gun at all times to keep the dangerous felon from escaping. About 5 minutes later, Andy had paid his bail and was off to class. With a speeding ticket in hand to boot.

Technically Andy says he wasn't "arrested" he was "placed in temporary custody."

But it's way more fun for me to say that my husband got arrested.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

That's gonna leave a mark

This morning I woke up and let the dogs out. Just like any other morning.

Toby likes to stay out there for awhile.

Laying in the driveway enjoying the cool morning air.

This morning though, his nap was cut short when it started to rain.

I called him inside, because Our House + Big, Wet, Furry Dog = Disaster.

He came inside. But evidence of his morning driveway nap remained outside.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

You Booze, You Win II

3 years ago, I ran my first 5K race at Schmohz.

2 years ago, I walked it so I could drink beer while strolling.

Last year, I got second place by a few seconds - missing out on the opportunity to win a mug club membership but I still happily walked away with a growler of delicious beer.

This year, I really wanted to take home the top prize.

The race began after the pirates shot off a cannon.

You heard me. Instead of a blowhorn, shotgun, etc. - this race began with pirates shooting a cannon. Which is one of the reasons this race is awesome.


The race is three laps around the industrial park behind the brewery. I was ahead for the first lap, and then got passed by someone I named Blue Shirt Girl. Three guesses as to what color her shirt was. I decided to just try to keep up with BSG and not let her get too far ahead. She remained in front for the next lap and a half.

With only half a lap left to go, I noticed BSG started to slow going up the hill. So I hit the gas and chugged past her. From that point on, I had no idea how close any other female was to me. Which means I pretty much ran as fast as I could for the rest of the race, fearing I'd be caught. Somehow, I was able to cross the line as first overall female with a new PR of 20:27.


Andy finished right before me with a new PR of 19:48 and won his Age Group, which means he also got a growler of beer.


We've never ran faster, and I totally credit the beer prize for the motivation.



What made the race even better, was that it was Kara's first 5K ever and Kerri's first race since birthing an adorable baby. And victories are always sweeter when you've got someone to share the beer with.