Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shake It Up!

Okay so lately I've been feeling a bit homesick and tired of all the monotony of my day to day routine. I mean, I don't even get to go into the office, so even if I do go to the gym in the morning or at night, I'm still spending a majority of my day in the house. Don't get me wrong, my house is great and I love it, but when it comes down to it, no one really wants to be in one place ALL DAY LONG! This weekend JP and I decided that we would shake things up a bit. At least once during the week, we would do something different and fun that we haven't done in a while or ever. This week was...BOWLING! I can't even remember the last time I went bowling. I believe it was sometime during college probably with my friends in Sugar Land and several pitchers of beer for the group of us. This time, it was just JP and I and we had a blast! We even found a coupon for buy one game get the second free! I won the first game and JP won the second. It looks like we'll have to go back to see who the real champion is. Another benefit of going to the bowling alley is that we got to see a different part of town. I'm a big fan of shaking things up a bit! It was nice to get out of the house and just have fun with the two of us...on a Tuesday!



They put us on lane 1 since we're so awesome.

Oh and did I mention that it snowed again yesterday? It's the end of March! You know it's bad when Pittsburgh locals are talking about what a bad/cold/snowy winter it's been!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friendship: Two minds, One body

I mentioned in my last post about how much I miss my friends. After yesterday, this statement couldn't be more true. I didn't have a bad day yesterday, in fact it was great! I talked to 4 of my friends on the phone. All good conversations. All made my day that much better. With work, I'm on the phone for several hours a day, so sometimes I'm bad about calling people. I'm working to get better at that. Today, I wanted to take a few minutes of my time to dedicate to my best friends, the girls that I couldn't get through each day without. In no particular order...

Alison Stern (Crowson-to-be)
Alison is one of the people I spoke to yesterday and she is the one who truly inspired me to write this post. In Alison's blog (Confessions of the Engaged), she writes about how for Lent, she isn't giving up something silly like cookies and cake, but instead making an effort to become a better friend. In this busy world, it's so easy to come home exhausted and sit on the couch, eat dinner and keep to yourself. This is a quick way to losing loved ones, and what are we without our friends. I now have the same goal as Alison and it's already making me happier (and hopefully my friends too!) Alison and I met when I was 19, a sophomore in college through our boys. Alison was BFF with JP and I had the biggest crush on him. I like to think that Alison is one of the reasons we really got together. Alison has such a fun soul and I know with her I can ALWAYS be myself. Whenever we're together, we are constantly laughing. I love the fact that we are more than happy to order pizza in on a Saturday night and sit on the couch while drinking wine and watching The Pregnancy Pact. In the end, it's those nights when it's just you and your friend that matter the most right?

This is Alison and I in South Padre for Spring Break '07!

Emily (Emma Roo) Timmer
My baby sister and my best friend. "Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of.  You know whatever you do, they'll still be there." This quote is by Amy Li and it couldn't be more true. Emily and I are very different people, but similar at the same time. We both have different opinions and we're both vocal about it. We don't always get along and when something bothers us, we tell each other. We may fight and yell for a few minutes, but come back 10 minutes later and we're perfectly fine. That's how we are and that's how our relationship works. We love each other unconditionally and we always will. I'm not sure Emily understands the impact she has on my life which means I should tell her more often. She is a strong leader with incredible faith and high morals and standards. While she also has her flaws, she truly lives the way that God intends for each of us to live. She is a role model to so many and is in the position to help change lives. I couldn't be more proud of the woman that she has become. I am so lucky to call her my sister and my best friend.


Emmy and I while re-painting her room December 2006.


Andrea Soule
This girl is my soule-mate. Haha get Soule...but really she is. Andrea and I met in our Civil 302 class February of our sophomore year of college. While walking after class, we decided that we were going to be best friends and I invited her to come have lunch with me and my boyfriend (it was JP, surprise, surprise) and she did! The best part of the story is that we really have been inseparable since then! I moved in with Anne and her roommates junior year and we lived together until we graduated in December 2009. Oh and did I mention that I convinced her to change her major with me and that first semester of junior year we had the same classes, we lived together and we worked together at Outback?! You would think that we would drive each other nuts, but no. We just click. We are polar opposites and attract like magnets. Andrea always knows how to cheer me up and I know that she would go to the ends of the earth to do anything more me. Now that's a friend. Andrea is coming to visit me in Pittsburgh for Easter! This will be our second Easter spent together and our first without the whole Timmer gang. I'm so excited that she will be here to support me while celebrating my first holiday away from home. Andrea has helped me get through my deepest valleys and highest hurdles. She knows everything about me...literally. I can't say that about many people. I love this girl so much and consider it one of the biggest blessings that God placed her in my life.


March 2009 before the Ol' Ags crush party and yes that is a poster board Christmas tree in the background.

Nicole Larimore (soon-to-be Valdez)

Nikki and I have been friends since we were freshman in high school. We knew of each other in middle school, but we were only acquaintances then. Our freshman year we were inseparable. Neither of the could obviously drive, so we rollerbladedCallaway House together our freshman year. We did EVERYTHING together except for class of course. Over the years we have taught each other so much and experienced many firsts together. I can't believe that we've been friends for nearly 10 years. That's a long time. I couldn't imagine any of those years without her. Nicole has taught me so much and has helped me grow into the woman I am today. We've had our ups and downs, but when you've known someone for that long, sometimes it's the downs that makes your friendship stronger. We've been through high school, graduation, good boyfriends, BAD boyfriends, college, trouble/bad decisions, happiness, everything. There are few people I can say that about, and by few I mean that Nicole is the only one. She is another person that knows everything about me, maybe even too much :), but that's what makes our relationship as special as it is. Nicole is so smart and has such a loving and caring soul. She has been a tremendous influence on my life and I know that God brought her to me for a reason.

Freshman year at the Tap!

Julie Ponder (formerly Ness)
As I once told Julie during my speech at her rehearsal dinner, "our friendship is like an arranged marriage." And just that it was, since we were chosen as partners in our office for MSC LEAD in May 2007 of our sophomore year. At first we were both displeased at this arrangement because I thought Julie was bossy and kind of reserved and Julie thought that I was loud and obnoxious. The best part is that both of these assumptions that we had about each other are true! I am one of the most obnoxious people I know and well Julie can be bossy, that's what makes her a good teacher :) Once we got past our initial distaste, we became insta-friends. The best part is that we HAD to hang out with each other a lot and we loved it. It made the work that we had to do for LEAD that much more fun. Julie is a very strong individual. She may come across as reserved at first, but she is a ball of energy and is very smart. I think the best part about mine and Julie's relationship is that we are in the same points in our lives. While we were partners, we both had serious boyfriends and our boyfriends liked each other! Chris, JP and I were actually all Fish Camp counselors together in Camp Powell. Julie and Christ got married just 2 months after JP and I, so while I was wedding planning, so was she! She was in my wedding and I was in hers! Julie lives in San Antonio and I lived in College Station/Houston (depending on what year we are talking about 2009 or 2010). We have always made the effort to take trips to see each other. Living in different cities is hard and sometimes you have to make that drive to keep your friendship strong. Not only do you need to make the drive, but you need to keep the trip focused on that friend instead of jumping around everywhere. Julie and I have been incredibly good at this. I mean, Julie even came to see me in Pittsburgh! Now that's special. I am so thankful that I have a friend that loves me and cares about me enough to do that. This is the best arranged marriage that I could ever ask for and I don't think life would be nearly the same without Julie.

MSC LEAD formal spring 2008!

So, now that my hands are cramping, eyes are watering and feet are hurting(I'm standing at my island in my kitchen) I will stop. This does not mean I'm done writing about my friends. I still have a few more that need to be in the spotlight. Come back tomorrow to hear about Kristin, Charlotte, Leah and Kathy :) I promise your not second best! I hope that everyone is having a great Saturday. Now I'm off to get some new running shoes! 

Food for thought: How have your best friends impacted your life? Have you told them lately how amazing they are?

Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy



Thursday, March 24, 2011

(Not so) Important Updates

I have some (what I consider) important updates.
  1. This past weekend was absolutely beautiful. The sun was out, which doesn't happen often, and the temps were in the upper 50's to mid 60's. It had to be the nicest weekend by far. Too bad JP and I were sick.
  2. Yesterday it started to rain what looked like Sonic ice and some were even bigger! It did this on and off for about 2 hours until we had a layer of Sonic ice on our lawn with some empty patches here and there. While it was not hailing, the flood gates opened in the Heavens and down poured all over Pittsburgh, PA.
  3. Maggie does NOT like to go potty outside in the rain. Maybe it was the hail...
  4. On top of the fact that it hailed yesterday, it snowed some last night. Last time I checked it is officially spring. The highs through the rest of the week are in the 30s with lows in the 20s. So much for global warming...(yes, that was also my Facebook post. Don't judge me.) 
  5. Enough about weather, I filled up my gas tank this morning after going to the gym for the FIRST TIME since January 15th! I'm not even kidding. My radius in Pittsburgh is about 10 miles and this is stretching it. The only place that is really outside of my 5 mile radius is the airport. I did however, manage to go to the airport 5 times in 6 days while all my visitors were here though :)
  6. Working from home is harder than I anticipated. It's just not the same when you're not in the same room as a majority of the people on your call. I know that I am a people person, but I have realized just how much I count on people interaction to help me through the day. Thank goodness for JP, Miss Maggie and the gym!
  7. I miss my friends and family more than ever. Please know that all of you are in my heart and I think about each of you every day. I love being here on this adventure with my best friend, but I'll be excited when our journey takes us back to Texas!
  8. If anyone wants to take a long weekend/vacation to Pittsburgh or the east coast, let me know! Our home is always open to you and Pittsburgh is a lot cooler than one would think.
  9. Maggie can officially jump up onto our bed. It thoroughly pisses JP off. Our doors upstairs don't shut very well so she can take a running start and jump up at them. Again, this pisses JP off and me as well. It seriously needs to stop.
  10. Maggie has puppy class today. She has to show that she can lay down with a treat between her paws and "leave it." She can do it at home so let's hope she can impress her teacher and not be too distracted!
Like I said, these are all very important updates. I haven't uploaded any pictures lately so hopefully I'll have some from this coming weekend! Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

Spring is in the air and the weather in Pittsburgh is slowly, but surely starting to lighten up. We've seen the sun more and temps are slowly rising...then falling...then rising again. It's like winter in Texas, cold one day and warm the next. I'm looking forward to the week that I can go outside without a coat on every day! It will be here sooner than I think. This year has been going by so fast! I can't believe that March is already here! I wanted to do a quick recap on how CRAZY this year has been for our little family.
  • We lived with my parents for a week in January with nothing but a suitcase. It's strange living in Houston without our own home to go to!
  • We move across the country to Pittsburgh, PA
  • We adopted the most amazing puppy that has filled our lives with joy
  • JP started his new job at the plant and he loves it. He's such a people person which makes him a great manager
  • We got settled in our amazing townhome and finished decorating
  • I travelled back to Houston to run the Houston half marathon
  • Two weeks later, I travelled to Houston for my first business trip. I got to see my best friends Andrea and Nicole. Nicole even got engaged on February 11th
  • We explored Pittsburgh by shopping downtown, heading out to Washington, PA, sampling the local cuisine, and much more
  • Maggie became potty trained and learned how to sit!
  • We started a half marathon training program together
  • I went to Disney World with my mom and her girl friends to run the Disney Princesses half marathon
  • Maggie started puppy training classes
  • We went to see Disney Princesses on Ice at the Consol Center
  • We joined a gym
  • Emily, Matt, Julie and Kate came to visit. We showed them all the sites, food and happenings of Pittsburgh
  • We got sick at the same time and had to spend a pretty, sunny, warmish weekend inside on the couch watching basketball and Harry Potter
Yes, that was this past weekend. It was kind of a bummer, but if you're going to be sick then ABC Family's Harry Potter weekend and NCAA March Madness is a good time to do it. JP and I always seem to get sick at the same time. I guess that means we always just get to take care of each other. At least this way it didn't spoil one person or the other's weekend.

On Saturday the 19th, it marked 2 months since we've had Miss Maggie! She's 4 months old now and growing so fast! Here are some pictures that I took of her over the past few weeks:

She's so silly and often moves her head and neck into positions that I could never imagine being very comfortable.

Maggie and her daddy watching A&M play basketball! Too bad we lost :(

Have I mentioned how much she HATES baths?

She loves us and we love her!

Hello camera!

Look! I'm missing my two front teeth! (On the top you can see the little holes)

Loving with mom

I love to go under the couch now. Too bad I'll be too big to do this in just a few weeks!

Alien eyes! She loves her ball and is in the early stages of catch! She rips the fuzz off of tennis balls and it ends up all over the house. We'll have to wait until she's older for those!

Maggie is growing so much every day and I can't believe how big she's gotten just since we got her two months ago! She's learned a lot in this short amount of time and is a very smart dog. She excels in her puppy training class and she is definitely the class star. Now don't get me wrong, while she is good at listening to commands, she is also the most hyper. She has a ridiculous amount of energy that keeps JP and I on our toes daily. We always have to keep our eye on her to make sure she not getting into trouble. She starting to learn how to open doors now that she's tall enough to just up and reach the handles. We're having to put jackets under the doors to jam them! We will definitely have different door knobs when we move back to Texas :)

Well, that's all for now. I hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend and that you enjoy your first day of spring! I will leave you with this quote by Bern Williams "The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring." Happy Spring! Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Luck of the Irish and an AMAZING "Spring Break"

As my sister says, every white person in America claims to be Irish. Well, it's safe to say that this is true. We also have Irish in us :) Happy St. Patrick's Day to all...Irish or not! The main purpose of this post is really to update everyone on the AMAZING weekend I had with some of the best people I know. Granted, if a few others had been here it would have been even crazier, but I don't know if JP and Matt could have handled us then. To start things off, I want to post a very special picture


I know it's super creepy, but Char and Anne we wish you were here! Haha! Charlotte, my Norwegian seester, left us some pictures on Facebook letting us know that she felt left out. It definitely made my day. Too bad you're so stinking far away CharChar!

Anyway, this picture above is from Saturday morning when we went to the Strip downtown! JP and I are big fans of going to the Strip on a Saturday morning. This Saturday was different though because we're used to seeing Steelers stuff EVERYWHERE! Well, this week everything was GREEN for St. Patrick's Day! Take a look:




Did I mention that Matt grew a green beard over night then shaved it before we took the next picture :) From left to right it's me, Matt, Emily, JP and Julie! While at the strip we shopped around at the unique stores, ate breakfast at DeLuca's (as seen on the Food Network) and bought some yummy pastries for later that day! After the strip, we headed over to Swickley Village and walked up and down the street, had some coffee and went into some very unique stores. We even went into an old fashion candy shop! They had every type of candy you could ever think of and Julie got some pretty neat things. I forgot to take a picture though :( JP and I did find a place in the Village where you can paint your own pottery, so we plan on doing that one weekend in the near future!

Then we went home to play with Maggie and wait until it was time to pick up Kate! Once Kate arrive in Pittsburgh, we went to dinner at Primanti Brothers where we had the meanest waitress alive. She was obviously not having a good day or something. Emily order a Diet Coke and the waitress looked at her with a funny face and said, "Psycho?" Why would my sister order a psycho? I got annoyed and sternly repeated that Emily wanted a DIET COKE! Don't mess with my baby sister...The food was delish though! Everyone enjoyed Pittsburgh's finest sandwiches.


After dinner we went home and played on my Mac while Matt and JP played the Kinect and Xbox. You can see some of our Mac pictures in my previous post.

On Sunday, we headed back downtown to ride the inclines. We took the Duquesne Incline up Mount Washington, walked 3/4 of a mile along the top of the mountain and then rode the Monongahela Incline down to Station Square. Then we had a super yummy Italian lunch at Bucca di Beppo! Here are some picture of the adventure:


The girls are ready to go up! Well, except for Kate who is deathly afraid of heights! She did it though :)

My boys

Timmer kids minus Ben


On the way up!

Amazing view


I love my hubby

Gouglers!

Timmer-Gouglers!

I love my bestie!

Me and my baby brother

Julie and me! Another even better view of the skyline

<3

Bestest seester in the whole wide world. Kate wouldn't come out on this view deck because it was more of a ledge so we couldn't get a seester picture. It's okay though! Kate did a great job on top of the mountain considering her fear!

Riding the Monongahela down!

The other side of the car! Oh and at this point, Matt has told us that he will not be smiling for any more pictures :)

We hung around the house playing with Maggie for the rest of the day. Kate, Julie and I did venture off to the Mall in Robinson for a little while though!When we got home, we watched selection Sunday for NCAA March Madness and then I made dinner for everyone!

On Monday, we went out to the outlet mall in Washington, PA. We all got some cute things and the girls loved the fact that clothing is tax free in Pennsylvania! Matt wasn't too thrilled about shopping, but he did get some new shoes from the Nike store and he posed for a few pictures!






Despite the looks on his face, I actually did NOT ask him to get on any of these. He did this on his own free will :)

Unfortunately, I had to work the remainder of their trip here, but at least I got to show them what I know about Pittsburgh so far. I had so much fun having them here and I can't wait for them to come back. It was wonderful having people I know to spend time with. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did! Now it's time for me to get back to work! I have some pictures from my phone that I still need to upload so I'll put those up next!

Until next time...
With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just to make you smile

We're having fun in Pittsburgh! Can you tell?

Hey girl hey!

We could not stop laughing at Kate in this picture!


Who knows...

I love my seesters!

We are way too cool.

I hope you at least got a little laugh out of this. We did! I mean we only took 150 pictures and then looked at them...twice :) I am absolutely loving having my girls here! I hope everyone is having a fun, safe weekend!

Until next time...
With love and God bless,
Amy, Emily, Julie and Kate :)

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