Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Just Call Me Madonna

Okay so I am doing this a little bit backwards, but I want to tell everyone about the coolest experience I had on my vacation which happened to be on the very last night on the cruise. Yes, this deserves an entire post in itself. After I update y'all on my adventure as Madonna, that's right, the queen of pop, I'll come back and tell you about the wedding and the rest of our vacation!!!

So the story begins on Friday night after dinner. I convinced everyone that we NEEDED to go sing karaoke at least one night while on the boat. By we needed, I clearly meant I needed. We headed to the karaoke lounge after dinner and I signed up to sing Shaina Twain's Man I Feel Like a Woman and little did JP know that I also signed him up to sing Garth Brook's Friends in Low Places. He was just talking to dad and Buddy when they called him up to sing and he was very confused. Luckily, he was a good sport about it and sang away, drink in hand.

Kind of dark, we'll blame it on poor lighting

He loves me even though I do things like this to him :)
Naturally during my "performance," I was putting on a show with little dance moves and plenty of confidence despite by below average singing voice. I'll admit that I can carry a tune, but I am light years away from signing any record contract :)

After my song, the Karaoke host, Kim, asked me if I would be his Madonna in the following night's show because his original Madonna quit. I was a little confused at first, but immediately said OK. He explained to me that I would get to be on the big stage with backup dancers and all singing Like a Virgin. What I was going to be doing didn't really sink in until he handed me my packet with rehearsal instructions, song lyrics and an mp3 player with 2 versions of Like a Virgin, one with and one without the words. Apparently the second night of the cruise is when the auditions for this show were, so everyone else performing (there were 10 of us total) had several days to practice and I had 1.

On Saturday morning, I woke up and headed up to the cruise ship track with my mp3 player and lyrics sheet ready to learn the words. Had it been a karaoke version I would have been fine, but I actually had to memorize the words! After about 25 laps around the track (2.5 miles of power walking, it's hard to read and run), I pretty much had the words memorized. I still needed work for sure. We had a rehearsal that day around noon to get our order, practice our song on stage with the lights, see where we would be walking around and try on our costumes. This was a legitimate production. It was in the ship's big theater where the nightly shows were held with 1,000 plus seats. Earlier on the cruise, I had told my mom that I wanted to be on the stage, but it's safe to say that I never guessed that I would be singing on it.

After rehearsal, I was a bit nervous since I messed up on my lyrics in practice and I didn't want to be "that girl on stage who forgot her words." I was pretty much singing Madonna all day and I know that JP was getting annoyed. He still listened to me practice and told me how good I was, oh the things you'll do for love :) I didn't eat much at dinner that night since I was pretty nervous/eager for the show. The best part is that I'm pretty sure my family was even more nervous for me! I know that they think I'm crazy for getting up there and doing it, but I don't mind being on stage/the center of attention. I guess theatre, cheerleading and broadcast journalism made me comfortable in front of cameras and large crowds.

Needless to say, the show went great! I sang and rocked some of my moves. My back up dancers may have stolen the show though. They look hilarious in tiny cut off shorts dancing all around me. The crowd loved it which gave me more confidence. After the first half of the song, I was able to losen up and move around the stage some more! The cruise gave us a free DVD of our show, so hopefully I'll be able to upload the portion of me onto YouTube for everyone to see! Here are some pictures that Emily snuck while I was on stage.

Check out my backup dancers in those super short shorts!!!

Such a great experience!

I was able to get into it during the second half of the song once my nerves died down a bit

Taking a bow
After the show we were able to go out in the lobby and take pictures with all of our fans :) It's safe to say I had the BIGGEST fan club thanks to my family and the Billingsleys!!! They showed me lots of love when I was on stage too! I could hear them screaming and it made me feel great!

Definitely my loudest fan. Thanks for cheering me on Roo!

Still trying to figure out if he should be embarrassed or proud...we'll go with proud

Best Mommy and Daddy ever!

They were so nervous for me, but it was good to know how much they cared. I have some pretty awesome big little brothers

Matty Lewis! He was also my partner in crime on karaoke night where we sang Michael Buble's Everything. He totally showed me up. I don't know why they didn't ask him to be Madonna :)

My Mr. Buddy and Ms. Robin, my other parents really! I love you guys and had a BLAST on the cruise. It wouldn't have been the same without y'all there.

My "body guard" or really he was my assigned dancer, also one of my sweet back up dancers in the shorty shorts!
All in all it was a fantastic experience that I honestly never expected to come my way. It felt good to be on the stage, in my element :) I was definitely nervous though since I am far from being a singer, but feel like I did a pretty good job considering most people on the boat wouldn't have done what I did!

Here's a picture of the Cast: singers and dancers. This was given to us free by Carnival!
Next up will be about Philip and Alison's wedding. Such an amazing time :)
Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Gouglers take Pittsburgh!

That's right, 4 Gouglers took on Pittsburgh this weekend and it was so much fun! Jody and Phil made it to Pittsburgh without a hitch on Friday! In fact, their plane landed so early that they had to wait for the plane at their gate to leave before they could get off the plane. Shortly after they arrived, we headed straight for the one and only, Primanti Brothers! It is a must-go-to place for everyone that comes to visit us in Pittsburgh! I mean it did originate here, Pittsburgh is known for it and it's on Man vs. Food! Now, JP and I don't go here often, pretty much only when people come into town because the sandwiches are delicious and HUGE!

Source
It's pretty much a meal on a bun. I always get the Turkey sandwich with no cheese :) I can generally eat only half and then some French fries from the other half! Yummm...

Saturday we woke up and headed downtown to my favorite Saturday morning hot spot...The Strip District! We started out with brunch at Pamela's! JP and I hadn't been there before, but heard absolutely wonderful things about it, so we decided to try out a new restaurant with Jody and Phil. Needless to say...it was SO SO worth it! They are famous for their crepe style pancakes and we all enjoyed them very much. I had their blueberry crepe pancakes with scrambled egg whites and fell in love. I'm bummed because I forgot to take a picture, but here is one from outside the restaurant!


After brunch, we walked up and down the strip and went in all of the fun shops. JP and I both got new hats for our cruise this weekend! We also got some amazing low carb Italian bread from Mancini's Bakery which I used for breakfast on Sunday :) Next we were headed to the inclines! We take all of our visitors here for the view. Here are some pics!

We went up the Duquesne Incline

Jody and Phil on the way up!

This view never gets old!

My wonderful mom and dad in law

The Gouglers!

JP and his parents at the look out close to the Monongahela Incline

About to head down the Monongahela!
We definitely had a busy morning and afternoon, so it was time to head back to the house to release the pup! We were exhausted and she was ready to play. She absolutely LOVES her grandpa Phil. He played with her and took her outside a lot (she fooled him several times on her sneaky pretending she has to go potty just so she can go outside trick!). We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying each other's company and of course watching Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family. We decided to try out another new restaurant for dinner called Bravo and it was fabulous Italian food!

Sunday morning we all got up early (6:30 am really not that early for me...) because JP and I had to get a 6 mile run in according to our training plan! Maggie was in for a treat because Jody and Phil went to the trail with us and took her on a leisurely walk where she got to explore everything! She's quite the curious pup and I don't always let her sniff around wherever she wants. When we got home I made some yummy french toast! It was so good...recipe to come later :) We then watched the USA woman's soccer team play in the Women's World Cup and hung around the house before we went to Quaker Steak and Lube for lunch. Check out our sweet pictures from outside the restaurant!

Now I can honestly say that aside from running errands after lunch, I don't know what we did until dinner but I'm sure we had a great time. For dinner, JP did some amazing grilling and made grilled corn and ribs for everyone. As always, it was so yummy.

We had a great time with Jody and Phil and were sad to see them go. It's always so nice to have your parents come visit you and I am so lucky to have 2 sets of parents now. We love you momma and poppa Gougler and are so glad that you were able to come see us! I can't wait to see you in Vegas in 9 DAYS!!!

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Missing in Action

Hi friends! I know that I've been out fir a while, but I've enjoyed 7 glorious days without Internet or cell phone access. Simply amazing. While have no computer or phone is great, I must say that visiting Jamaica, Grand Caymen and Cozumel, Mexico was even better! I have a lot of posts to update everyone from JP's parents visits to Pittsburgh to Alison and Philip's wedding to of course our cruise! Be on the look out! For now, I'll leave you with this...






Yes, that is my new awesome Bucee's shirt and the rest of my Bucee's loot on the drive to Dallas!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Houston, TX

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Happy Happy Day!

So July 12th every year (well for the past 21 years) has been a doubly happy year in the Timmer casa. 25 years ago, yes, that's right, I said 25 years ago TODAY my mommy and daddy were married in Rockford, IL. The Timmer family was officially established in 1986. I am incredibly bless to have two wonderful role models to look up to! I thank God everyday for making you my mommy and daddy! JP and I are fortunate to have many generations of happily married couples on both sides of our families and I think that says a lot. Happy anniversary to Jim and Donna Timmer and here's to many many many more years!
With the coolest parents ever on my wedding day :)
Now this day is HAPPY times 2 because 21 years ago today, my baby sister was born! I can't even believe that she is already 21!!! Emily is my best friend forever and for always. A sisters love is forever and we are blessed to be so close. She is by confidant, my maid of honor, my shoulder to cry on, my listening ear, my punching bag, my rock, my baby girl, my Roo, and most importantly my best seester friend times five. It's crazy to think how grown up we are now, but luckily when we're together, there's no need to act our age!

This was 20 years ago!!!

No need to act your age when you're with your best friend

We can always find a way to get dirty...

...or get into trouble. Yes, Emily was capable of getting out of here gracefully. I couldn't reach so I had to fall out. Totally worth it :)

From high school days...

...to right now, I don't know what I would ever do without you!


If this isn't true sibling love, then I don't know what is!

From the cold days...

...to the hot days, I'll always be here right by your side.

You're my MOH and I don't know where I would be without yoU!


Happy birthday my Emma Roo! I love you more than words can describe. Thank you for being you and thank you for loving me :) I can't wait until Thursday for us to celebrate and then cruise on Sunday!

Oh yeah, JP and Maggie say happy birthday and happy anniversary too!

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Fun!

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!!! I hope that you've enjoyed your short week. Mine has been JAM PACKED. Seriously, work has been crazy, which I expected, and I had to get the house ready for Jody and Phil's visit this weekend. I am so excited for my in laws to come visit us and I must say, I am incredibly blessed to have such an amazing second set of parents. We get along great and they really have brought me in as family. Their plane lands around 5:30 tonight which means we should see them around 6! Just in time for dinner at Primanti Brothers!

I have 6 1-hour sales executive reviews to sit in on and take notes for the team today. I had a few minutes in between #1 & #2 and decided to snap a few pictures of Maggie to compare/contrast her size!

Miss Maggie at 2 1/2 months old...
Miss Maggie at nearly 8 months old...
Can you believe what a difference the past six months have made? My little girl is growing up so fast! She is such a blessing and an integral part of our family. It's safe to say her ears have tripled in size and I love that I can kind of tell what she's thinking based on the position of her ears. She still has an insane amount of energy and can be quite the terror at times. Her speed is ridiculous and she loves to sprint laps around our little backyard area to drive mom and dad nuts! I can't wait until we have a house with a bigger yard for her to play in. She loves being outside. Sometimes she acts like she has to go potty and then when we take her out, she just lays down in the grass! Such a brat. JP says she gets it from me...this is probably true :)

I hope that everyone has a great weekend! I know that I will. We have a lot of plans to make sure Jody and Phil get to experience our new city! Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Walk in the Park

Okay well, not really in the park, more like a walk on the trail, but that doesn't sound like a cool title. I know a lot of people are wanting to see some more pictures of my crazy little pup, Miss Maggie, so I took a bunch on a gorgeous day at the Montour Trail. I had gone for a run that morning and according to our training, JP needed to get a 3-miler in. I didn't feel like sitting at the house, so I suited Maggie up in her "vest" which is really just a harness, but vest sounds nicer, and we were on our way to the trail.

I love my trail :)

Maggie says, "Hi Mom!"

There goes JP!

She wanted to chase her daddy so bad, but mean old mom wouldn't let her.

Taking a break

I can get her to do anything for a treat!

Happy girl!

Shadows!

Oh look, dad's coming back!

We had to sprint to follow dad because walking wasn't enough...this made for a tired pup!

Sorry JP!

Sweaty Family Picture!
I must say, summers up here are absolutely amazing. I'm not quite sure if it cancels out winter though. I'm not sure how long this will last, but I am loving the weather and now the tides have turned all you Texas folk! I'm enjoying the temps and you aren't :) Just because I said that, I'm pretty sure something crazy will happen now to make me miserable. We shall see. JP and I are really enjoying ourselves up here and if you couldn't tell, we're really taking advantage of exploring this area! I thought that your first year of marriage was the year for firsts, but we're extending that to our second year as well! We miss living in Texas and being so close to our loved ones, but this has been a growing and learning experience for us. Though not everything has been easy and I haven't always been happy, it's been a great 2011 and I can't believe we've already lived in Pittsburgh for 6 months!

Mommy and Daddy Gougler are going to be here tomorrow and I have a lot of work to do! Literally work work, not like fun work like cleaning the house or cooking. I have a packed work schedule these next two days, so hopefully time will fly so we can have a fun weekend with the 'rents! Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

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