Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fun in the Sun, for Christmas

Texas is the best place to be for Christmas, especially when you live in a dark and dreary wasteland like Illinois. There was sun, and nice weather, and leaves on trees. It was perfect. It was so nice, in fact, that we took a road trip our second day there to see some quaint old towns. We stopped by Bandera, TX and Fredericksburg, TX. We sat by a beautiful river, laughed at the utterly Texan nativities, and ate some scrumptious German food.

Living in Illinois reminded me how un-flat Texas is. They do call it the Texas Hill Country for a good reason. Being as such, I recommended we take a quick drive from Fredericksburg to Enchanted Rock. It was our 'mountain' growing up. It's not really a mountain, but more of a really huge granite dome that is fun to climb. So we did. It was so beautiful and we saw a tarantula. It was quite a perfect closing to our road trip.

The rest of the Christmas holiday was enjoyable as well. We ate delicious food at home, opened a few gifts, bought some fun books. We went to the Riverwalk again, and ate at Casa Rios. It has the best Mexican food ever! It was also very fun to see Megan, Kyle and Hallee again. Brooklyn played in the bathtub with Hallee and of course we snapped a couple pics. All in all it was a fantastic 9 days in comfortable San Antonio!
View the pics

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I'm done with finals and one more semester. I feel like I've learned so much! Especially about State Space Representation and Control. Too bad my final exam experience didn't make me feel that way! Goo, that was one hard final.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tis the Season

So I hate to post too many things right in a row, especially when it involves pictures of my cute kid. I don't want anyone to miss out on those. So if you haven't yet seen the "Apple a Day..." post, go read it first.

Ok. Back again? Great. Tis the season to celebrate cold weather, final exams, and Christmas! These past two weeks we have been hit with a sharp cold front and the temperature has dropped a lot. It finally snowed a couple times. Hurray for first snow! However, the snow isn't the bad part about Illinois weather. It's the wind and ice that come later. Despite my bitter resentment for the hated Illinois winter, I was put in awe this afternoon after church. I pulled into the neighborhood, on the way home, and was delighted by the leafy trees welcoming me home. Leafy trees? Wait a second...they all fell off weeks ago! Check it out. The prettiest leaves of the season:

Well, aside from the freakish weather, I only have one week left of the term: Finals week! Luckily I only have one test to worry about. Too bad it's a big one. :( That's ok. It isn't until the very last day of finals week, Sat. 15. It sounds revolting, I know, but I'm actually glad. I have to proctor a final and then grade it and that will consume a lot of the early part of the week. So I have plenty of time left to study, study, study. And besides, I'm not going anywhere. Or am I?

Yes we're leaving town! We're totally excited about our Christmas travel plans this year. We are spending about 9 days in TX for Christmas, and then spending 3 or so days in Colorado for New Years, then it's off to Costa Rica for a week! So it'll be a blast. We get some time alone with the Baillio Grandparents, and we get to meet a new McDonald, and live it up with lots of Barrands. We will soak up the experiences because we won't get another opportunity like it for a while. Not only because it's not every day you go to Costa Rica, but also because I can't take off so much time for Christmas break anymore. Technically I'm overdoing it this season, but that was a major oversight on my part. Grad students are like regular working stiffs, with only 2-3 weeks vacation for a whole year. Silly me. I booked 3 weeks for Christmas alone! I'll make it up somehow.

Well the next two weeks can't come fast enough for us. It's been a long 6 months away from family and loved ones. And we can't wait to show off Brooklyn!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Brooklyn making moves on a neighbor boy