Saturday, December 8, 2007

"It's Christmas Time in the City"

We are so grown up. We have purchased a Christmas tree and even a couple of ornaments. We are certain the process of assembling the tree was very similar to what it was like to build the Eiffel Tower.

Happy Birthday, Kenny!

Kevin's good friend, Vanilla Thunder, turned 30 recently. Kenny's wife Christin threw him a wonderful party and her mom even baked him an awesome cake.
The evening also included showtunes by Eric.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving '07

We were sufficiently spoiled and well-fed this Thanksgiving. We started our greater Pennsylvania tour in Philadelphia with Kevin's family. We had an incredible meal and had a great time with Kevin's parents, his Uncle Ed and Aunt Judy, and Grandmom Vile. And even though the picture made it look like all we did was drink a gallon of Bailey's, we actually all behaved in a relatively tame fashion. We even had a great game of Scrabble to help our food digest.
We weren't the only ones who were well-fed...Luther did alright this holiday as well.
From Philadelphia we drove to the Clarion region and hung out with Amy's family. We had more fabulous meals with Amy's parents, Nana, and Grandpa. We played more Scrabble and even an interesting game called "Alfred Hitchcock's WHY?" from 1958. We also found some brainteaser puzzles and kept ourselves confounded the entire visit.
It was a wonderful holiday and we really gained a perspective on how much we have to be thankful for. We are thankful that we were not this bird because unfortunately hunting season in Pennsylvania means that slow, possibly hurt birds don't last very long. For all our "birder" friends out there, what the heck is this bird (may he rest in peace)?!?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Couple

Happy Anniversary, Jim and Dog!
As we celebrate the union of the best dancer of the 6th grade and the girl who was saved by the fire department on her wedding day, we reflect on how absolutely perfect Jim and Dog are for each other. They are fun, they are generous and their last name means "to repair" in Polish.
Congratulations, Jim and Dog! Here's to many more years of marital bliss!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Love Bean, etc.

I was just doing my daily check-in-with-other-people's-blogs routine when I realized that we haven't fed and watered our own blog in a while. I guess that's mostly because we don't have much of an update. We had a wonderful Saturday evening seeing Sharyn and her friends Leslie and Jason (who might even be our friends now, too, if we didn't scare them away, which frankly we may have) in Old Town Alexandria. We even did the S'mores at was THAT fabulous an evening. In addition, we celebrated Navy's win over Notre Dame. All in all, the perfect day.
Here's a picture of Sharyn from years ago when we tried to capture a shot of a loud and not-so-great singer on the streets of Squirrel Hill. I'm posting this picture because I know Sharyn never checks in with the blog and now maybe it'll keep her on her toes!
I want to thank Kevin's sister, Sharon, for sending this picture of a "love bean" that her family grew. We gave these little beans to our nieces and nephews at our wedding and I was really excited to see what they would look like when they sprouted. Order your own beans by clicking here - they have them in lots of different messages. They make great stocking stuffers or an extra little something for your Thanksgiving Host(ess)! Thank you, Sharon!

Also...I realize that this is the Vileation Nation, not just the Amy Vileation Nation. So if you want to read more entries from the Kevin Vileation Nation, be sure to leave your comments of encouragement for him!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Luther In Cognito

No, Luther is not dressed in Steelers gear.

Luther chose to be a bumblebee for Halloween this year and was certainly the hit of the neighborhood. You can see how happy he was about the whole thing. But it was either a bumblebee or a ladybug and so...voila.

It was amazing how many kids made it the whole way to our doorstep and didn't realize that Luther was a dog. I don't mean to suggest that they seriously thought he was a bee, but they seemed to think he was a toddler or something. Kevin and I can only hope to have children half as beautiful as Luther someday.
We carved some pumpkins this year, too, which was very fun and very messy. We should have done a better job of taking pictures throughout the experience, but here is the final result. Kevin even cut a hole in the back of one of them and sprayed hairspray through and lit it to simulate a fire-breather. And Grove City girls...please do not miss the fact that THE WITCH is on my front door!!! Thanks, Susan!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Valley of Tears

Well, turns out our good friend Vinny was right. #1 Ohio State defeated Penn State this weekend and turned Happy Valley into the Valley of Tears. Thankfully the rest of the weekend was pretty great, so I guess we'll just have to look forward to next year.
Click here for pictures of the weekend. We had a fantastic time in State College, hanging out with all Kevin's wrestling teammates and their families. Highlights from the tailgate were: learning that all Kevin's friends think he is a girl because he has a blog, getting a lesson from Kristen on how to tell irresponsible tailgaters to knock it off, eating (very tasty!) pork from a bag, learning that our blog has been featured in Mr. Wolcott's classroom, and just enjoying a great time overall with the Breidinger family!Then we moved on to go visit with our good friend Steadman. Nate (who is also Steadman) and Kevin believe they are the same person because they both love Iron Eagle, Penn State, chicken wings, Miller Light, etc. So it's emotionally tough on both of them when they have to face off in the classic game of athletic pong. But they made it through and are probably even closer friends for it. Nate's wife Tracy is so much fun and we had a great time hanging out with her (and their friends Bill and Julie) and learning the finer points of how to successfully tailgate.
So that was the big trip to State College! The next installment will be Luther in his Halloween costume...stay tuned...!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Luther's Hunger Strike

Luther is a tough nut to crack.

He has so many quirky behaviors but there is one that we just cannot figure out. Luther REFUSES to eat out of his dish. Won't do it.

Here he is facing off with his dish.
He will stare at the dish for hours. Sometimes days. But we know the secret. The secret is to put the food absolutely anywhere else but IN THE DISH.

Has anyone ever heard of this crazy behavior? We've tried lots of tricks, like hiding rice and snausages and cheese and salmon and pizza crust and lots of other tasty things at the bottom of his dish. He works around it. Won't eat his food.

And see this face? This is the face of a hungry dog. Sometimes Kevin tries to help Luther out and pours a little General Tso's sauce or gravy or something over his food. Generally I don't do this because I really, really want him to eat out of his dish all on his own. In this picture Luther is VERY hungry because he hasn't eaten since yesterday morning (aside from the occassional reward for going outside to, you know).

Just to prove that this is about the dish and not about the food, I've taken a video to demonstrate his clear preference for eating his food off the floor. Notice how he's acting like he hasn't seen food in weeks. WHY WON'T HE JUST EAT OUT OF HIS DISH????

(also, please forgive the Friends episode that is so obviously playing in the background)

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Perfect Segue...

This weekend Kevin and I decided that we needed to do something. No more sitting around, watching football and eating chocolate. It was time to get out and see the world. Or at very least, Annapolis.

We've been wanting to do a segway tour of some sort for a while now, and who are you going to trust but a company called Segs in the City. We were both under the impression that we would be part of some 10-12 person tour, so imagine our surprise when we showed up and were the only two registered. Turns out, that's the best way to do a segway tour. Our guide, David, was fantastic and very patient with us. He told us lots of neat Maryland history and he even dresses up like a Colonial guy on occassion.

You can take a look at our pictures here, and notice that we also walked around the campus of the Naval Academy a bit. What a great weekend. We can't figure out why people are not just waiting in line to come visit us...!

Oh, and we're headed to the big OSU/PSU game this weekend in State College. Be sure to weigh in with your comments on who you think will win as well as who you WANT to win!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dog Wins!

It should come as no surprise that a person who goes by the name of "Dog" has won the contest. The contest of "why is our pug named Luther."

Here are the top guesses that we hear regarding Luther's name:

Luther Vandross
Martin Luther
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lex Luthor
"Not a winner but a luther" (courtesy of our Pun King from know who you are!)

None of these are correct.

Dog (who many of you will recognize as the Matron of Honor at our wedding) knows the truth.

Luther is named for Luther van Damm on the TV show "Coach." So now Kevin needs to get a bunch of office supplies to Dog and her husband Jim.

Incidentally, we just spent a fantastic weekend with Dog and Jim in Columbus, Ohio, home of #1 Ohio State. We attended a beautiful wedding and I embarrassed myself about 7 different ways during the rest of the weekend. I will post some updates (and hopefully pictures if my Dad will share his) about this weekend in the near future.

(Luther is pictured above with his new best friend Abby.)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Home Again, Home Again, Safe at Banana

Only my parents (Amy's parents) will get the title of this blog. And even then, I'm not entirely sure that THEY will get it. For some reason this is what we would say when pulling into the driveway. It's not at all surprising that we would say something like this because we also watched a lot of ALF. The older I get, the more I appreciate how great my childhood was. My parents have done so many things right. In fact, I can't think of one thing they did wrong, except allow me to be a jerk to them for most of my life. That's for another blog, when I ask Susan for help in writing it...she and I both sit around crying about how we wish we were better to our moms. Does anyone else do that? Sit around and regret their horrible behavior? I wonder if this is an activity reserved for people who grew up in Northeast Ohio.

Anyway, the things my parents did Kevin and I try to get our life together and put a plan in place, I realize how seamless my parents made it all look. I grew up in the same house for most of my life and knew the area neighborhoods well. I love "knowing" an area. I love having a connotation in my head when I hear the name of a suburb. In fact, I love that so much that Robyn once made me a photo collage of the exit off of I-90 for Eddy/Bratenahl. Something about that exit just brings me some sort of nostalgia/memory/happy feeling.

My parents also let me drive when I turned 16. Again, this is something that I'm grateful for. I love that they saw this as freedom for themselves as well as for me (at least I think they did, maybe they'll comment on this). I just read an article about that new show Kid Nation and how parents are so hyper-aware of their kids these days. Too hyper-aware. My parents were by no means negligent, but they did let me sit in a carseat in the back of a burning Audi once. That's the sort of thing I love about them.

And I love that my parents have life-long friends. There are some very special families that I grew up with and to me that is just priceless. Again, as Kevin and I try to get our life in order, I'm starting to be accutely aware of the fact that I want to live near friends. So all of you who are already our friends and think you could tolerate living near us, please move. We'll pay your closing costs. We're pretty desperate.

There are myriad other things my parents did right. Like love each other. I remember a childhood friend of mine saying that she was sure that if my parents ever got divorced, it would be a sign that the world was ending. Everyone who knows my parents knows that they love each other. There's evidence of it in my Dad becoming a fan of classical music and gardening/yard work and my Mom attending Indians games and Rod Stewart concerts.

Every year my parents visit a National Park of some sort. They're in MUCH better shape than I am. They are active in their church. They know everyone in our community. They're great cooks (both of them). They finish what they start. And while they don't watch ALF anymore, they do watch Two and a Half Men as well as The Office. Which is fantastic.

So anyway, the original point of the blog was to say that I'm home from Europe and you can check out my pictures here. But it turned into Ode to Keith and Carla...and I'm glad. They should take a minute to be all puffed up about themselves (another inside joke, sorry).

And since we don't get tons of comments yet, I'll try to solicit a few more. Tell us about some crazy childhood quirks that you remember. For instance, my Dad always says "study hard." Even now. I've been out of school for 10 years. And my Mom and I still think sock monkeys are hilarious. So leave your comments! Sharyn, you should start off about "bummin'" on Saturday mornings!

I'm going to nag at Kevin to post something soon about his childhood. He'll have me beat in crazy memories since he had brothers and sisters, too. And his parents are pretty great because they had GOATS as pets for the kids! Stay tuned for some good Vilehood stories!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Europe is only big enough for one Vile at a time...

This is the Vile who is not currently in Europe. He is busy working and tending to the pug. Here is Kevin at the BWI airport, sitting on some airplane tires. Did you know that BWI is also called the Thurgood Marshall airport? I very recently learned that fact.

Here is the Vile who is currently enjoying a tour of Belgium, Austria and Slovakia. Amy is having lots of fun working with Bekaert over in Europe and has managed to embarrass all of America over and over again.
And finally, here are both Kevin and Amy, many years ago, as they boarded a train going the wrong direction when they were visiting Kevin's sister Sharon and her family in Mons, Belgium. Ignorance is bliss.
(The complete set of European pictures will be posted upon return to the other side of the Pond.)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Labor Day Weekend

We were fortunate enough to have our first visitors at our new place over Labor Day weekend. Thanks for coming, Mom & Dad! We hope you enjoyed your authentic taste of Baltimore at Chipotle. We are still horrified.

Click here for some pictures of our fun weekend.


For those who have a great deal of patience, please click here to see some pictures of our honeymoon adventure in Alaska. If you do choose to view these pictures, may I suggest watching them in "slideshow" mode so you can read the captions.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kev and Aim - Take One

We are new to the blogging world, but we are committed to becoming really good at it. We even plan to link pictures to this entry. It should take us no more than 4 hours to figure this out.

Click here for pictures of our wedding.