Duck. Duck. Bowl.

Over the holidays my brother and sister-in-law came in town for an extended visit and we were lucky enough to have them stay with us for a couple of days.  We decided to go out for dinner last Friday, and headed over to Santorini’s in Fountain Square.  Wow.Do.I.Need.To.Get.Out.More!  That place was delicious!  The portions were enormous but oh.so.delicious.  My brother ordered the Gyro and Chase ordered the Chicken Gyro.  Both really enjoyed them.  Kym and I shared the Briam which was so delicious and had a little spicy sauce that was yum.  I love places where you can share an entrée because a whole one for one person is almost always way too much.  Kym and I were stuffed and there was still food left.  The environment is fun with flaming cheese dishes and greek dancers.  We will definitely be going back.

After dinner we wanted to burn some calories do something fun so we walked over to Action Duckpin Bowling.  I had heard of this place but never been before.  It was so awesome!  It was built in the late 20s and still has all of the period pieces that make it so special. 

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So what is Duckpin Bowling you ask?  Well it is much like regular bowling except the pins are shorter and fatter and the balls are the size of bloated softballs.  There are no finger holes – you just roll those babies down the old wood lanes and hope for the best.  You get three rolls, instead of two, because with such a small ball and still 10 pins, it is hard to knock those little pins down. 

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This game was such a blast!  The pins are held up by strings so when you knock some down, the strings pull them up out-of-the-way and you are good to go.  There are no electronically reset pins or screen to tell you how many you hit, so take someone tall to help you count how many pins are standing.  The game is great though because it moves so much faster than regular bowling.  The balls come back on the return right away and are all the same size so you don’t have to wait for your particular ball to come back.  The strings also eliminate the need for the thing in regular bowling that acts like a windshield wiper and clears all the downed pins before resetting more.

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I know that there are newer versions of duckpin bowling around but I have to say that the fun of this place was the history.  It felt like you were in a totally different time.  If you are in Indianapolis, swing by and check this place out.  You will not be sorry!

Hallerween 2012

This was the first year since Chase and I have been together that we really got into Halloween.  I think the encouragement was that a coworker of mine invited us to her Halloween party and this party is no joke – strobe lights, life-size coffins, games and contests, and decorations everywhere – and our friends were coming in from St. Louis for the weekend.  So we got to brainstorming.

Chase decided early on that he wanted to be Honey Boo Boo.  Don’t ask me why.  We don’t even have cable.  So I went to Hobby Lobby and got everything I needed: tulle, rhinestones, glitter spray, lace, ribbon, and a t-shirt.  Once I got home, I started on the “skirt” of the costume.  It was really easy and I followed this tutorial.

Then I took the pink t-shirt, cut off the sleeves, cut out the neck in the front and the back to make it a little more ‘off-the-shoulder’, and then started hot gluing.  First I glued on some lace ribbon and then a hideous butterfly.  Then came the glitzing which basically just required hours of gluing rhinestones all over the costume.

I, on the other hand, decided to play up the ongoing elections and my friend and I created Mitt Romney’s Binder Full of Women.  We covered two pieces of cardboard with fabric and ran string through the cardboard to wear.  Then we cut out pictures of women (Sister Wives, Meghan McCain, Sarah Palin, big bird [I think he is a boy but it was still funny]. etc) and glued them to our binder.  We used glow sticks covered in duct tape for the silver binder rings.  Using the connectors for the glow sticks, we were able to connect the sticks from each of our pieces of cardboard together to complete the ring.

Maggie was Lady Gaga in a red lace dress.  Basically I just wrapped her in red tulle, put Chase’s wig on her and made the crown out of paper and tulle.  She didn’t wear it for long but we managed to get her picture so she could win a pet costume contest at the Halloween party we attended.

Here’s our crew (incuding Maggie) ready for festivities.  And yes, Chase is wearing fake eyelashes.

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Hope you all enjoyed the holiday!

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!  I wanted to publicly discuss my resolution for the new year in hopes that it might keep me accountable!

Find more balance.  Everyone says this right?  But seriously, with our jobs, balance is often gone as quickly as some soft baked cookies around our house.  Yes.I.Lack.All.Self-Control.  When we get home from work, all we want to do is lay on the couch, watch tv, and eat.  Lazy.  So this year, my goal is to still work hard at work but to get serious about finding time to workout (not just run) and to spend more time with our families and in our church/community.

For example, this last week or so, our family has been concerned with my brother’s health.  It turns out he is suffering from rare migraines but we were so concerned that it could be something much worse.  Times like that just remind me that you don’t have anything if you don’t have your health.  So I plan to spend more of my vacation/free time with my family, loving and enjoying and learning from them as much as possible while I still have time with them.  And I will workout more in an effort to keep myself around a bit longer for them to also enjoy!

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Me and my brother.

To kick off this resolution, Chase and I have agreed to cut out TV watching for a week.  I opted for longer but decided that every week, we will try to either cut something out of our routine or put something good in it.  Eliminating TV is hard (we are so addicted to the show Damages and are 2 episodes from the end!!) but so far the challenge has been great.  It gives me more time to workout, clean the house, and just spend time with Chase.  I will keep you posted on what we eliminate and add to our routines during the year!

What are your resolutions?  Happy new year to you all.  May God bless you with health and happiness throughout the next year.  With love, the Hallers.

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Not so little anymore

Well it’s Friday – and that makes me pretty darn happy!  Not much is going in our world as we are just preparing for some concrete work to start next week.  But I wanted to send you into the weekend with some pictures of my little (or not so little anymore) puppy.

Here she was the first weekend we had her:

I miss that sweet little face, the fact that she slept, and the days when her toys were in one piece.  But as she has gotten older, she has become more snuggly which I totally love, and she has developed a personality.  I think she is demanding … like me … and lazy….also like me.  She loves laying in the bed:

And chewing on bones (which she frequently gets under the blankets and then chews through the blanket to get to):

And standing outside barking at us to come get her and let her back in:

And snoozing on the way home from a fun weekend (wearing her doggie seatbelt, of course):

Here’s to another weekend of wearing her out!  Or maybe she will wear me out!

What are your plans this weekend?  Are you spending it trying to exhaust a puppy so you can get some rest?  Enjoying the beautiful fall weather we are getting that we so deserve?

Hoosierland!

A couple weeks ago, we had four of our nieces and nephews for the weekend, and we had such a blast!  They are 4, 5, 6, and 7 years old so you can imagine we had to start with some ground rules (the girls LOVED locking bedroom doors for some reason…).  Friday night we started out with a little Simon Says action with neighbor kids.  We had some cheating, some confusion, some playing by the rules, and some just acting silly!

But Saturday, we decided in our infinite wisdom, to take the children to the Indiana State Fair.  We bought advanced tickets to lower the cost and the girls both got in free.  Here was Mr. Max in typical fashion on the way there.

We started out by looking at the animals in the barns.  Why did this turn out to be a bad idea?  Well, we spent the part of the day that was sort of cool inside while the rides were only one coupon each until 1:00 pm, and Collin was having one heck of time with all the animal dander.  Nevertheless, I think the kids really enjoyed it.

They got to pet calves….

And llamas…or alpachas?

We saw enormous pigs.  I didn’t take pictures.  You’re welcome.

After some animal time, we needed to get lunch.  This is where the meltdowns started.  Mostly Mya was angry – because she had water on her shirt, because she didn’t want any french fries, because her napkin blew away – frankly because she could be.  But once we got to the rides, life got better.

The kids got to ride for a little while longer with the one ticket coupon until 1:00 pm deal.  They loved that.  They all insisted on some roller-coaster like ride that the girls could only ride as long as an adult was present.  It wasn’t really fast but it was kind of jerky.  The girls both freaked out.  What do you do when you are stuck on a ride and can’t just get out or get someone’s attention to stop it?!  All I could do was hold them both in while Chloe started to almost cry and Mya hyperventilated as though she was having a panic attack.  After we exited the ride, you would have gotten a totally different picture as Mya yelled to the boys that “it was totally awesome” and Chloe agreed!

We ended the hot day with some smoothies and some time in an air conditioned building where the art and related exhibits are.  All the kids loved these awesome lego builds of famous Indy landmarks.  They each had a list of things to try and find in the build – like Little Red Riding Hood or 5 Star Wars characters.  So fun for kids!

On the way home, we had some sleepers so we just watched a couple movies that night and went to bed early.  Despite a good night’s sleep, Chase and I were pooped.  Aside from the exhaustion of doing things we don’t normally do, we loved having the kids with us.  We don’t get to see them nearly enough and they are so much fun.  Our sisters-in-law have done a pretty fabulous job raising some pretty sweet kiddos.

Oh Baby, Baby!

No, we aren’t having a baby.  But my sister-in-law, Kara, is and today was her baby shower!  It was so fun!  Preparing for this shower is the reason I haven’t blogged lately…that and being buried at work. But we decided to have the shower at Grazie’s Italian Eatery in Bloomington and they did a fabulous job!  Here are some pictures of the day!

And here are some pictures of people chatting, Kara opening gifts, and the traditional get-your-picture-taken-with-the-pregnant-girl pictures! Isn’t my sister-in-law completely beautiful and adorable?  She will be a really great mom, no doubt about it.  Congratulations to Kara and James!  We can’t wait to meet your sweet little girl!

Holy Nascar!

One of the perks of my job is that partners have tickets to events that I would not pay money to go to and then they pass them along to associates when they can’t go.  Sometimes it is a seat at a Colts game I could never afford.  This weekend it was tickets to one of America’s favorite sporting events….Nascar’s Brickyard 400! haha!

I have been to the Indianapolis Speedway before, but Chase had never been, and neither of us had ever been to a Nascar event.  I have to admit, I kind of loved it.  We had fabulous seats, the weather was beautiful, and it is pretty crazy to see and feel cars going by at insane speeds.  That said, I would not pay to go again, I wouldn’t watch the stuff on TV, and I’m not buying any ‘gear.’

But perhaps better than watching the cars was taking in the sights. 

First we had the entrance to the speedway: Them some cars flying by (I cheered for Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon, the latter because that was the only name I knew off the top of my head and the former because he had an M&Ms car [evidently Indianapolis hates Kyle Busch because they booed at him everytime his names was called or he went by]):

 

And then there were some rear end cracks (sorry for the clarity – I had to zoom way in with my iPhone and it still wasn’t doing it justice):

 

And some fabulous hair on the gentlemen (I use the term loosely):

 

I really wanted to get a picture of one of the many women I saw wearing no bra that definitely should have been but that seemed too rude.  We had a great time and appreciated the tickets, but probably won’t be back…that is until I get a strong desire to see some awesome mullets again!