An apology and a long post  

This post is long overdue! I have been incredibly busy with work, Heather's wedding, spending 3 weeks with family & trying to get resettled in Greenville again!

My apology goes to Chad. After years of mocking you for your "USB network", I finally had too many things plugged in to my laptop & docking station that I had to unplug something in order to download picts from my camera! :-) (I'm not quite ready to buy a hub though!)

I left for Heather's wedding on September 11th. It's such a small world. I ran into a couple at the Greenville airport that know the missionary I stayed with in Japan for a few days last November! I had a great time catching up with people at Northland! Heather & I stayed with the Ollilas and Charlene made me a milkshake for breakfast one morning. (It's a long story!) I realized I had forgotten my camera charger & we searched all over Iron Mountain for one to no avail. Thus, I wasn't able to take any pictures. :-( Heather & Jon got married on September 15th. We woke up to frost that morning, but it turned out to be a gorgeous day! Chris took a ton of pictures & Heather just sent me a copy of the CD, so here are some picts for those of you that have been asking!

After the wedding, I headed to Iowa with my parents. I stayed there for 2 weeks. Had a great time visiting with family, spoiling Aayla, hanging with cousins for Uncle Gary's retirement and Steve's 30th birthday. We got a little shopping in as well, but not nearly as much as previous trips home!

Mom and Dad brought me back to Greenville so they could see where I live and go to IKEA for some furniture! On the way down, we stopped at several Target Stores along the way. (It was for work.) I think we counted up about 15 or 16 we hit in a 3 week span! Good thing I love Target!

We did some sightseeing on the trip as well. On the way to Greenville, we stopped in Asheville, NC and toured the Biltmore mansion. It was very impressive! I could not imagine living in a house that big! (If you ever go for a visit, I highly recommend purchasing the self-guided audio tour.)

In Atlanta, we went to The New World of Coca Cola. They had a cook 4D theater and we were able to taste different drinks from around the world. Some are definitely an acquired taste! Unfortunately, the bottling line was down while we were there so we didn't get to see that.

What'll ya have??? Next it was on to The Varsity. Dad had seen a show about this on TV and wanted to try it. He loves unique hot dog restaurants, so we went! (I think the funniest named one he took us to several years ago was "The Flying Wienie"!) I had a "Slaw Dog". Your basic hot dog topped with cole slaw. Sounds kind of gross, but really wasn't too bad!

Next it was on to IKEA. It was kind of a bad experience. They were out of stock on just about everything I wanted. I changed my mind multiple times to be able to buy something in stock! We finally found a table & chairs that would work. The quest was over! Only to have our hopes dashed when we went to pick it up. They really were out of stock on that too! Ugh! Back to the drawing board. I ended up with a table, bookcase, chair (Alme natural) & stools that I'm using for end tables and extra seating at the table when needed. I don't have room in my apartment to store extra chairs, so we thought this would be a good way to get double use and not take up additional space! We didn't get any chairs because we couldn't find any in stock. They had a few floor models they'd sell us, but they were scratched up and they'd only take a couple dollars off. Not worth it. It was a long day & I even talked to the store manager about buying some off a display that were up high and looked like they were in good shape. It's company policy to not sell them & they wouldn't budge. We ended up with no chairs and we'd try to order them online.

The next day we were putting the bookcase together and the top piece was smashed in 2 places. Not good. We took a vote and as much as we didn't like paying full price for damaged goods, you wouldn't be able to see it and we didn't want to drive all the way back to Atlanta! However, when we opened box #2 of 3, it didn't contain the right parts. Guess we're going back to Atlanta! On the plus side, we were able to get chairs as well! We also found out they have an area where you can open all your boxes to check the contents and tape it all back up. We used it this time! :-) Needless to say, if this had been my first experience with IKEA, I would have been very disappointed and probably never go back. I stuck it out because I like their stuff - it's well made, reasonably priced and different from the norm.

The bookcase forms a partial wall to section off my office space. Eventually I'd like to get a curtain hung between it and the wall to hide my desk & stuff. For now though, it has lots of cubbies to store things! It's hard to visualize without pictures (those will come later!), but we put part of it in the kitchen and part in the living room. That helped give me extra storage space in the kitchen for my cookbooks and some of my kitchen things that are nice enough to display.

I've been able to cook a few "real" meals lately now that I have all my belongings back! It's nice being able to do that again after 5 months! I made Pollo a la Crema the other night for supper and had Guacachips with it. (I love Guacachips and searched high and low for a place that carried them here. Almost had to have my friends from Guam send me some! I finally found them at World Market!)