Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Nicolie & Chels!

So, I have to inturrupt my regularly scheduled post (ok, it was going to be my halloween pics, told u I was behind) for an important announcement. Since I happen to be on here blogging on 2 of my cousins birthdays I might as well wish a great one to Nicole & Chels.

My girlfriend Chrissy & I got together to make cookies yesterday. We just had the baking bugg I guess. I made some sugar cookies & I thought, hey, why not make some for Chels since we're going there tomorrow. So here they are... BTW, sorry I didn't make any cookies for you Nicolie. It's hard to enjoy them from across the country.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday to Us!

For the past several years, on my mom's side of the family we've been having a "group" birthday party. There are so many birthdays between september & December that we just celebrate everyone's at once. So this year we hosted at my mom's & she had a great idea to gather the gang & go corn mazing. We had a BLAST! Pretty much as soon as everyone arrived, we bundled up & drove down the road to a local corn maze. Once there, we chose teams to go out with, grabbed maps & chose which of the 3 mazes we would tackle first. Me, Darren & my cousin Bethany started out together but soon ran into my mom, dad & aunt Karen. So we wandered around the largest of mazes for about 30 minutes trying to find the "checkpoints" to stamp out little card. There were something like 20 checkpoints hidden throughout the 3 mazes and the object was to find each one & stamp our cards. I thought this was a fun twist to the traditional corn maze. Well, our group was hopeless. We happened upon 1 or 2 checkpoints while aimlessly wandering the maze. Oh, did I forget to mention that NONE of us had a map? Don't ask me how that happened! After a while Darren, Beth & I ditched the old folks and set out on our own. We eventually found our way back out and at that point Darren had lost all interest in our expedition. So we lost an explorer but remembered to pick up a map! We headed to the smallest of the mazes. We were about 5 minutes in when we came across Evan wandering by himself. Little did we know, we'd just found the corn maze equivelent of Sacajawea. Evan apparently is a master map reader & was able to efficently lead us to about 15 checkpoints before the rest of our party became bored and we decided to pack it up & go home. I had so much fun, I was sweating & trudging up & down the cornfields with an enthusiasm I haven't had since...since I don't know when. So if you're looking for something fun to do next fall, grab some friends or family and head to your local corn maze. Might I suggest looking for a maze with the extra challenge of finding checkpoints. No matter which one you choose here are a few words of advice...grab a map if one is available, wear layers AND boots (cough,cough clarkston whites) and find a friend who is proficient with a map!

After the MAZin race, we came back to the house where we ate and relaxed for a while. And of course, got in some Rock Band!

Pic 5: All the cousins on mom's side, oh and alex
Pic 4: the whole fam damily
Pic 3: I think we're lost
Pic 2: This is the guy to have with you on any expedition
Pic 1: Darren, Leah & Evan rockin it out

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Traverse City Trip

So, let me preface by saying, I love Traverse City. I have had many exciting and exotic vacations around the country and the world, and loved them all. BUT, there is something about Traverse that is just so damn relaxing. Both vacations I've had there have been wonderful and recharging. So my mom won 2 nights at this cheesy little motel on the strip in Traverse, and asked if Darren and I wanted to come. Now, money is tight but mom's paying for the room so ... SURE! I called a girlfriend of ours from high school who now lives there with her husband and asked if we could crash a night or two with her. Yay, a family vacation & friend vacation all in 1 week. We stayed the first 2 nights at the motel with my fam and had a great time! We rode bikes, rented a boat, went kyaking , went go-carting, shopping, hung out with our friend Vince who owns a jewelry shop there...all kinds of fun stuff. Then we went to our friends Kate & Greg's house ten minutes down the road and were planning to stay 2 nights there. At Kate's we had even MORE fun! Darren and I had the days to ourselves while our friends were at work, we explored more of TC, went hiking, kyaking again, shopping and putt putting and then spent the evenings with Kate & Greg. We drank, went boating, went to the casino, the club, and had a BLAST! Sooooo, instead of staying 2 nights like planned, we ended up staying 4! We are hoping to make it back this winter to try our hand at a little snowmobiling! Here are some pics of our trip, this might take 2 posts also with all the pics I got! Thanks to mom & dad & Kate & Greg for making this trip so much fun!

Pic 1: Darren & I mini golfing at Black Beard's

Pic 2: Darren & I hiking at Sand Lake Trails. Watch out for that Road!!!

Pic 3: Darren & I in front of Sand Lake

Pic 4: Sand Lake Trail head

Pic 5: Kate, Greg, Darren & I hangin out on their deck

Pic 6: Tubing on Long Lake

Pic 7: Look mom, no hands!

Pic 8: Me & Al boatin it up

Pic 9: Mom's cold after her turn on the tube

Pic 10: I was born for this life

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Chicago Pics

Ok, I have to narrow down the rest of my chicago pics cause I don't want to do a 3rd blog on the trip lest I bore you all to death! So here's some more...

Pic #1: For some odd reason there are all these HUGE colorful rockets all around this area called "boys town"...hmm, I wonder if they're some sort of symbol. Either way Erin and I thought It was a great place to stop & get a game plan for the rest of the morning. What do you think Erin, pretty comfy huh?

Pic #2: We discovered this quaint little leather shop (giggle,giggle) while out shopping with Erin. We SO almost went in to get something for darren but I decided on an alabaster soap dish instead.

Pic #3: Coots adorable apt. where she was living in (I hope I got this right) the Wicker Park area of Chicago.

Pic #4: Me & Coot bein girly!

Pic #5: Darren & I out for a Sushi dinner with Coot & Eric.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a whole lot of pics from my trip. Ya know, I lug the damn camera around all the time, you'd think I'd bust it out more often! Anyway, I wish I had a pic of Erin's cute apt she was living in at the time. But since she's moved since anyway I guess the point is moot! Keep an eye out for my upcoming blogs, I hope to have them up in the next few weeks; Traverse City trip, family bday party, halloween & maybe even my first thanksgiving dinner, even though I have no pics of it.

Love ya,

Trip to Chicago

So I know I briefly blogged about our Chicago trip before, but I wanted to get some pics up. Guess what I spent 4 hours doing today...downloading the last year and a half of pics from my digital camera! I've been meaning to do it for a while but haven't gotten around to it. So here are some pics I got & some background about them.

Pic #1: Darren and I outside the Museum of Contemporary Art. We made it pretty much all the way through before we had to leave due to starvation. Pretty good museum in my opinion. And I got an educator discount, even better ;)

Pic #2: Darren looking up at the John Hancock building, which made both of us dizzy. When completed in 1969, it was the tallest building in the world outside New York City. It is the third-tallest skyscraper in Chicago and the fifth-tallest in the United States, after the Sears Tower, the Empire State Building, the Bank of America Tower and the Aon Center.

Pic #3: Me & my girlfriend Coot in the Signature Lounge of the John Hancock building where we paid $12 for a plate of chips & salsa smaller than a nacho's belgrande!

Pic #4:Don't really know what this is all about but I spotted it near the bus stop outside the Museum of Contemporary Art. Thought it was kind of neat.

Pic #5: Darren & I in front of the Chicago Water Tower which is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of the pump house keeper who died there in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Some incorrectly believe that the tower was the only building to survive the fire, a few other buildings in the burned district survived along with the tower. But the water tower was the only public building in the burned zone to survive, and is the only one of the surviving structures still standing.

Ok, I hope these captions are in order because they loaded differently than I chose them. I have more pics that I'll be posting on a seperate blog. Why does it limit me? That really grinds my gears!!

More to come!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My First Successful Geocache!

I had my fist sucessfull geocache today. For any of you who don't know what geocaching is I'll briefly explain! It's basically a treasure hunt using a GPS unit. Cachers hide trinkets & a log book in some sort of weatherproof container usually in a park somewhere. Then they post the coordinates online and crazy nature lovers like myself brave misquitos, poison ivy, mud and other natural obsticals to find it! When we do, we take something, leave something & log our names & date into the logbook. To learn more & a better description go to Anyway, my friends Bryan & Emily told me about it & I've been wanting to try. We went to the renissance festival this weekend and tried one up there in Holly Michigan but we couldn't find it :( Anyway, we attempted 5 today and 3 were sucessful! I left (fake) gold coins in 2 and a lego batman toy in 1. I tried to take pictures to post but realized when we got there that the camera's batteries were dead. bummer. Oh well, there's always next time!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Stolen Birthday Party

So here's the story of how I stole my birthday party this year. My friend Ezra is in a band called Red White and Booze. They're crazy! Their shows, for me anyway, are more of a performance thing than a music thing. Don't get me wrong, they're all very talented musicians but they sing comedic/parody type songs with titles like "trick from Ypsi" and "F'ed in the A". They look like a an 80's rock/metal band on steroids. Check them out on myspace, just search for Red White & Booze or do a Google search with the same. Anyway, I was asking Ezra earlier this summer when his next gig was. He said they were playing for some girl's birthday on Sept. 5th, to which I replied "Well, that's MY birthday!". He suggested I come out to TC's Speakeasy and celebrate with them. I proceeded to ask how much the girl had paid them to play at her birthday party. Ezra wasn't sure, he hadn't handled that part of the engagement. Well I thought, why don't I just make it my birthday party too, since it IS in a public place, right? Who wouldn't come to that conclusion? So I started spreading the word to all my friends to come out to see Red White & Booze for my birthday party.

We had quite the turnout for my stolen (and free, might I add) birthday party! In fact, I think we brought the party. I'd guess there were about 20 of my friends there that night plus we'd made a few more before we left. And I didn't pay for a drink all night! We played pool, had some beverages, watched our friend's band play AND...To top it all off, they announced the birthday girl's names (still don't know what her name was) and called us up on stage! We danced on stage to one of their more popular songs "show me your titties". But don't fret, the birthday girls were quite lady-like and were showing no skin in the middle of a bar. Now, I was too into dancing to notice, but I was told that I was having way more fun on stage than the other birthday girl. What can I say, I was in the limelight! I mean, by no means can I dance well and I would never be asked to be a background dancer in any self respecting music video. But hey it was my birthday and I'll dance if I want to right? I've included some pics so you can see the fun that was...My Stolen Birthday Party. Can you see me rockin out behind the singer? Btw, the one with the crazy red hair is my friend Ezra aka Dr. Keytaro! RED WHITE AND BOOZE BABY!!!

Overdue Update

Ok, I know...I suck. So I haven't posted in a W H I L E. Thanks aunt Noreen. Well here's the update since last time I posted...

First for the bad news. Since my last post was about my cousin bethany delivering her baby I guess I should update on that situation. Carter had many problems upon birth including but not limited to a very rare genetic disorder. After a few months of fighting for his life he was unable to fight anymore and passed away. While it was heartbreaking for bethany and the rest of the family, everyone was at peace knowing that Carter would not suffer anymore and that he was in a better place. The silver lining is that Bethany has decided to go to nursing school in memory of Carter! I know this profession will be perfect for her, she is one of the most nurturing and empathetic people I know and I am so proud of her.

In our lives, we've had some big changes as well. I'm sure most of you know this but Darren and I were both laid off in April. It came as a shock to both of us. I had just started my teaching career and loved my first position as kindergarten art teacher in Saline. Darren however, had just reached 5 years (and a 5 week vacation!) at his position. But, this is Michigan afterall and we're seeing a lot of layoffs happening.

As far as Darren goes, I'm looking at this as a blessing in disguise! He loved his job but was at a point where he couldn't really advance anymore. So he is taking this opportunity to go back to school full time towards a bachelors. While he is still unsure of what he wants to do as a career, he is almost finished with a sales/marketing certificate at WCC and is thinking of transfering to EMU for a bachelors in journalism. Either way, he is finally loving school and is getting straight As! I'm very proud of him and have learned something about my husband recently...he's a FANTASTIC writer! Better than me in fact!

My situation, however, just plain stinks. I've been looking for a teaching position all summer to no avail. To begin with there are not a lot of full time art positions here in Michigan. Most of the positions I've found are part time or less. I probably sent out about 20 applications this summer, and had 2 interviews but nothing has come of them. I will continue to search through this school year but don't hold out much hope because most of these positions have probably been filled by now. I will search again in the spring here in the surrounding area and if I don't find something quickly, will begin to search around Michigan and probably then, out of state.

Ok, so that's what's going on in our lives! yay! I'll update more regularly in the future (I hope) and try to post some fun things too!!


Thursday, April 17, 2008


Ok, so here's my nice pretty blog spot with.....uh...NOTHING on it. I had a wonderful spring break in Chicago, a couple art shows at school and I haven't posted squat yet. Well...that changes now...(why do I have a sense of anticipatory dissapointment much like when I make those New Years resolutions which quickly become forgotten)! As soon as I get a few minutes alone in front of my computer, I'll give you all something to read about! Maybe even a few pictures! Soon I promise!

Here's a little Costantini side fodder for the mean time. My beautiful cousin Bethany delivered her son Carter on Tuesday! Carter was born at 6:29 a.m. weighing 1 lb 15 oz and was 13 inches long! Everyone was quite concerned because Carter wasn't due until the end of July, but as of now he is holding his own in the NICU where he will remain until his due date. Bethany started having contractions thursday night & friday morning and was sent to the hospital where she was put on bed rest and on her back to try to stop the labor. At that point her immediate family was on spring break in Florida, so my mom, aunt Carol and myself drove out to Kzoo on Friday around 3pm to stay with Beth until her family flew in at 11pm. By the time we left they had her stabilized and she hadn't had a contraction for about 4 hours. She held out on her back bored and in pain for 4 more days before Carter decided he wasn't going to wait any longer! Images of baby Carter to come when I'm home on my personal computer!

ta ta!

Friday, March 21, 2008

my classroom

Well, I knew it was official when they finally put up a plaque with my name on it in late September. Yes, I finally have my own classroom. It's actually a really nice space, it's a corner room with lots of windows and natural light. There's plenty of cabinet space stocked with just about all the art supplies I could ever need. I only wish I had a scanner. I'll try to get some more images up for ya to see.

thanks for readin

Into the great unknown

Ok, according to uncle Jeff and aunt Noreen, EVERYONE has a blog...even grandma! Sooo, I guess I took that as a challenge. I don't feel like I have anything interesting to share like motorcycle adventures, culinary masterpieces or exciting trips...all of which I lack; but I'll give it a shot. This first one will be eye gougingly (<--is that a word?)boring cause I'm tired and creatively spent.Maybe I'll have some fun stuff after my trip to Chicago next weekend! Night night all, thanks for readin!