Thursday, July 28, 2011

Goings On

Hello there!! Hope you are having a great week! It’s the last one of July – can you even believe it? I’m actually writing from our deck tonight. It’s been so dang hot it’s been unbearable even at night, but it’s quite lovely this evening.

And now that it’s nice out, what am I doing? Not working on anything on our HUGE, ongoing list of outdoor projects, but blogging. Figures. :)

Anyhoo, first I need to announce the winner of the Pottery Barn gift card, courtesy of Groopdealz. Whoohooey, Dawn of dccrader(at)hotmail(dot)com,  you are the lucky duck winner! Dawn, holla at me in an email and I’ll get you hooked up with your gift card.

I forgot to mention that I was included over at my friend Emily’s Now and Then series last week:


You can go here to see some before and waaay before pics of our family room. :)

This week I may have mentioned a few times on Twitter and Facebook and then Twitter and maybe here, and then I called my Dad and my teacher from the 5th grade and mentioned it on Twitter…again, that we went to the NKOTBSB concert the other night here in Indy.


I tell. you. what. Whew. First of all, certain things get better with age. I’m just sayin’. I think all of the guys are in their 40’s now? And they can jump and run all over and sing and we’re in the stands screaming like teenagers and we’re sweating and exhausted. :)

And while wearing uncomfortable (cute) shoes, you know…just in case one of them has super sonic sight and can see my shoes from a mile away and they’re all, wow, I must meet that girl with the cute shoes! She’s rockin those!

What? Huh? That’s not how your mind works? Well, um…awkward.

Anyway, I got tired from screaming and jumping around like a lunatic, and then I go to sit down for a few and then Donnie goes and takes his shirt off and there. you. go.

And all the sudden I wasn’t so tired.


If you’ve been you know…it’s a ROCKIN’ show. I think this must have been my 8th (or so) NK’s concert and it gets better every time. Entertainment at it’s best!!

There’s something about being in a space with thousands of women who were YOU 20-something years ago. It’s like you look around and you feel like you belong…it’s really a wonderful feeling:


I went with Stink Eye Sis and two (practically) life long girlfriends (love you Erin and Mandy!!!).

Sis and I got a good pic in the bathroom:


Because I ask you, where else do you take pictures?

And here’s the one and only full length photo in a mirror that you will ever see of this blogger. Just to show you the cutie shoes:

I felt like a COLOSSAL dork taking my own picture. 

And my feet still hurt.

Anyway, it was a blast. Jon didn’t feel my mojo from a mile away and call up into the stands though, darn it. Or he maybe he did and he was terrified. We’ll never know. (He’s a DIY guy you know…someday I WILL get him to read my blog.)

Did that sound stalkerish?


If they go on another tour, we’ll be there. If they want to keep going for ten more years, we’ll be there. :)

And at the end of the night, who do I run into but a TDC reader?? She was sitting a row behind us – how wild is that? Hello Michelle!!

To see more about our girls weekend in NYC to see them last summer, go here. To see my sister dancing with Donnie a couple of summers ago, click here. (No that’s not me screaming in the background. I didn’t film that. I’m off to the right with my mouth hanging open because my sister is dancing with Donnie.)

Now, back to reality. The reality I LOVE. :) I told you we took a vacation a few weeks ago and I wanted to share a bit about it because we had such a fantastic time.

I must preface this by saying that practically every trip we EVER take is for hubby’s work. I mean, overseas (back in the day), NYC, wherever. It’s pretty much always in relation to work. Which certainly doesn’t suck, but we just never go on a vacation, just because.

So that made this one even better. We decided to rent an RV and travel north. We had a destination (Wisconsin Dells) but we decided to just go slow, enjoys the sites and take our time.

We took our time a little too much securing the RV, so when we called, all they had left was a Class A – and when they say Class A, they mean “house on wheels”:


I had envisioned something like this:


So I was pretty stoked. :) It was practically a freakin’ tour bus! And it. was. AWESOME.

Hubby has driven a few RVs before, but it was a bit intimidating. He got the hang of it right away though – and that is reason 4,203 that I love him. I love that he tries new things like this, isn’t afraid, and just goes for it and makes it happen.

The little man thought it was a bit harder to maneuver:



We drove up to the Indiana Dunes for our first night, and if you haven’t been to the Dunes, you are missing out. It is absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful white sandy beaches:

Indiana Dunes

It had been 20 years or so since I had been there and it was lovely. The Bub had never been on a beach, so we got to see another first in action:


Yes, I giggle about a boy band from the 90’s, but this man is my forever man. The most handsomest, most loving, most amazing man I could ever ask for. And he doesn’t care that I go scream at boy bands from the 90’s. ;)

Our favorite part was the view of the Chicago skyline on the horizon:


Can you see it? Too cool!

We stayed at RV parks every night, and by the second night were old pros at parking, putting down the jacks and hooking up the water and electric.

Let me tell you, I can’t recommend the Wisconsin Dells enough for a family vacation. That place was incredible. We didn’t even begin to scratch the surface though – the activities were endless.

Indoor theme parks were everywhere, outdoor parks as well, duck boat tours – and it’s the water park capital of the world. And they take that seriously folks. I mean, they are EVERYWHERE:

mt. olympus

We went to Mt. Olympus one afternoon and didn’t even get through a quarter of it.

SO FUN. Watching my husband go down the water slides – priceless. :)

There were a ton of fun, unique restaurants too, like Buffalo Phil’s, where a train delivers food to your table. Or a bubble machine:

That’s a happy hubby right there. :) Love him so very much.

We will go to the Dells again for sure -- it was an absolute blast. And RVing was SO MUCH FUN! We had the luxury of electricity and a shower, but also got to roast marshmallows over a fire and enjoy the outdoors as well.

I grew up camping every weekend as a kid, and I’m not high maintenance in the least, but I don’t know if I could do the whole tent thing again. This was the perfect mix for our family and I can’t recommend it enough. Big RV or small one – we will do it again. Our plan is to head west next summer and I can’t wait!

So, that’s what’s been up around here lately. Thanks for indulging me! Have you been to see a boy band from the 90’s lately? Scream like a 15-year-old? Take RV vacations? Scream like a 15-year-old while flying down a water slide? I’d love to hear. :)


  1. Proud of your hubby! That can be very intimidating (the RV, not competing w/ the NKOTB) ;) I am a NKOTB kid - junior high, etc. Grew up right outside of New Orleans & I've NEVER seen them in concert. Yes, yes... I had a sheltered life :o) Not really, but concerts just weren't on the agenda for mom/dad. Speaking of which - they live in a bus RV. My dad retired two December's ago & they sold their house that spring (my childhood home) & they hit the wide open roads of the USofA in their 'home on wheels'. When I tell people they live in an RV, most people envision your 2nd photo ;) But it's a 45 foot bus. And my dad is STILL learning. He learns something new almost every day. My hubs & I are tent camping, but hope to upgrade to a pop-up soon! I grew up camping (tent, trailer, RV) <--the timeline and I love it so much! Nothing like a sun setting, a campfire, and lightning bugs in the night... the concert of a billion crickets singing you to sleep... :) Ahhhh

  2. Lol, done it all but my scream crush is Rod Stewart, seen him 11 times (uh-hum I am a tad bit older than you ;))and camping is the BEST time for families!!!

  3. Sarah! You must've had a blast! Those views alone are worth all the trouble of hooking up the water and electricity! As I was reading this, my composer hubby walked by and said, "Hey, that's Richard S!" I totally scored cool wife points. If you come west next year, come to Texas!!

  4. The last two times that NKOTB has been in my area, I've been pregnant and it's been right on top of my due date. BOTH TIMES! GAH! Our family is now complete, so one of two things will happen. Either they'll never tour in my area again or I'll finally make it to a show! HA!

  5. Hey Sarah, You're too funny!! My sister-in-law went to the KNOTB concert that was here, in Calgary, a couple weeks ago. She loved it too. I LOVE me some Michael Buble! Saw him last summer and I can not wait until he comes here again. In my top three of concerts. Not to mention he's such a cutie pie and hilarious!!

    Your RV trip looks soo fun. I'd love to do that someday. I love the idea of a toilet and shower! Great pics too. That sunset with Chicago skyline - amazing!! We haven't done much this summer. I'm just finishing up the last few days of my stay-cation. Back to work next week. : ( Take it easy and enjoy the rest of yours! ~ Catie

  6. I took my daughter to see NKOTB back in the late 80's. She's 36 now. This Saturday, we are going to see Katy Perry. Today was my birthday (56) and I saw where Journey, Foreigner and Night Ranger are coming Sept.22, and boy, did I scream!!!! We will be online buying tickets on Saturday morning early, and then my daughter and I will be both acting like we are 20 again for that concert!!! I would have LOVED to have seen Backstreet Boys! You are lucky. And neither of our hubbies mind that we go to concerts and scream out lungs out either. They know we will always be coming home to them!

  7. Your vacation sounded awesome! I've thought about renting an RV and doing something like that too, and reading your post has motivated me :)

  8. Seeing your concert pics brought back memories from about a month ago when they were in Nashville! It was a great concert and NKOTB still got it! =) Glad you have had a great time, loved the RV pics too!

  9. I live an hour and a half from the Dells--we'll run up for just a few hours of fun sometimes =) So glad you had a great time in "my" state =)

  10. Looks like both events were a great time!! Love camping that way - so glad your family got to do that!

  11. Now you know how to party! In honor of my son's birthday I am hosting a Hank the Cowdog book giveaway this weekend - and you don't have to do anything but leave a comment! Would love for you to stop by. xoxo michele

  12. Looks like you've been having a lot of fun!! I have to admit, I missed the New Kids on the Block craze, but I am a sucker for N'Sync and would totally go to a reunion tour if I could!!

  13. We were in Wisconsin Dells 2 weeks ago. I'm such a chicken about the rides (motion sickness) so I'm usually the towel carrier!

    We did have fun though hauling 5 kids there (of which 3 were mine and the others were our kids' friends...)

    Glad you had a good time in my neck of the woods! :)

  14. I love RV-ing. Such good holidays!
    Loved this post TDC, and your beautiful piccies!

  15. I went to the NKOTBSB concert in Orlando last Friday. It was so awesome, and they do get hotter with age. We stood outside the tour buses like crazy teenagers and I got Joey's autograph as a result! I've always loved him, but Lord have mercy, when Donnie took his shirt off I thought I was going to die. I am also thankful for my hubby who might shake his head when I scream for them, but he really doesn't care. :)

  16. Oh Em GOlly Gee... I haven't been to the Wisconsin Dells since probably 1969, probably in a camper like you envisioned!! Yep, it was THAT long ago.


  17. I went to NKOTBSB last weekend in North Carolina and I told my friend I needed more mascara in case they could see me from the stage! HA!

  18. I live in Chicago so the Dells is our Disney World up here...Door County is our Hamptons in case you ever wanna go there. Great place for a sister weekend or alone time with the hubs. Anyhoo, we are headin' to the Dells next week and if you ever get up there again, try Paul Bunyan's restaurant for an all you can eat "Lumberjack Breakfast"....Ohhh emmm geeee...sooo good. Glad you had a good time!

  19. WIsconsin Dells??? That {along with you NKOTB story} just really took me back.

    That was 'the vacation spot' for all of us Chicago kids. The waterpark scene

  20. I still have my NKOTB posters and stuff from the early 90's....I can even sing those old songs still. Loved them! Jordan was my fav. :) Sounds like a blast. Thanks for sharing!

  21. New reader here and will definitely be staying tuned in. Love your blog :)

  22. Concert, RVing--sounds like you're having a blast of a summer! I love the idea of renting an RV. I've mentioned it to my husband before. We're definitely going to have to do this when we start looking for land to build on when we retire.

    Join us on Facebook!

  23. I am so happy you had a BLAST at the Dells! Isn't it amazing?? It's the one place in Wisconsin we can direct people to that they may recognize - or not. Hope you had an opportunity to try some of our local microbrews while you were here as well. :)

  24. I'm so wishing that I would of went to the nkotbsb concert when they were in MN. I'm super jealous. My family and I have a camper that we love. I'm glad you enjoyed the 'dells. I can't wait to bring my kids there.

  25. Sounds like an amazing time with the fam!! That's the most important thing in life! We did something we have never done before this year....went to Durango Co and zip lined through the forest and went white water rafting with our 4 1/2 year old!!! Can you say fun!!! Can't wait to try something different next summer!! Looking forward to more posts!!

  26. OK, I'm with you on digging the boy bands. But I think I've got you beat!! I was lactating in front of Backstreet Boys, FRONT ROW!! : )

    I had just had my first in 2001 and my best friend got her daughters front row tickets to Backstreet Boys. The concert was one month after I gave birth. It was AWESOME!!! I felt like a teenager, not a 35 year old woman!! Anyhooo, long story short, the "pads" weren't the best and they either shifted or got "filled up" and lo and behold I had two large wet spots front and center!! : ) Not that it wasn't memorable enough being front row at a Backstreet Boys concert. But to know that POSSIBLY one of the BSB is right this moment writing his memoirs about the old lady with the wet spots on her shirt at a concert.

    Thank you for always making my days!!


  27. How fun! We have always thought about doing an RV vacation, we just might do it soon! Looks like fun!

  28. Oh Sarah, I could've written this post. Well, the part about wearing uncomfy shoes & screaming like 12 yr olds at the boys!!! We carried on for months about finding the perfect outfit!! Then there was the sitting in the Waffle House parking lot for hours....

  29. Wow- it still always amazes me when people 'not from around here' come from a distance to visit the Dells. We live 1.5 hrs south and really enjoy it up there- especially the great northern railroad with mini train rides- very fun for my 3 yr old. But I still am surprised when others know about and come visit from different states :) Lemme tell you we love us some Buffalo Phils (again- because of the train that brings the food) and if I had seen you there I probably would have looked like someone at a NKOTBSB concert. For the record, I was a BIG fan in 2nd grade and then never really heard about them again or even knew they were touring ;) Looks like it was fun!

  30. I took my 14 year old daughter and two friends to the NKOTBSB concert here in Indy. I was sort of in between those boybands--a little too old to fall madly for NKOTB and the a little older still for BSB--but my daughter has a mad crush on BSB. We had a blast--I was hoarse from screaming--and some of those NKOTB songs threw me back to late night studying in college. Now my daughter and her friends have become NKOTB fans as well as fans of the BSB. Gotta say--those guys can get down. When I told my daughter that Donnie was my age she decided that maybe I'm not as old as she thought I was. That alone was worth the price of the tickets!

  31. come see our beautiful skyline from here! I grew up taking RV vacays to the dells every summer :) Can't wait to take my little girl now!

  32. Sarah....I grew up in the Dells! I wish I had known you were going there....I have a tonof family sister, in fact, and I could probably have scored you some tickets or something. Did you go to Tommy Bartletts?? Ride the Ducks??? Buy some Fudge??? How about Noah's Ark? Did you have a "Swig with Nig"? But the BEST place of all would be Monk's....oh, I would die for a Monk's burger and fried cheesecurds right now.....ahhhhhh.
    So glad you enjoyed yourself.....The Dells is a beautiful place.....a ghost town in the Winter but a bustling place from late Spring through Fall.

  33. Indiana dunes and Wisconsin dells! I loved visiting those places when I was a kid in Chicago! It looks like the Dells have gotten even cooler in the years since I've been. I enjoyed reading about your adventure.

  34. OMG!! I saw NKOTB in June. It was the best! I felt like a kid again. I <3 Donnie so much!! do you follow him on twiiter? i have yet to get a shout out or a "twug". Glad you had fun!!

  35. I went to the NKOTBSB concert in Greensboro, NC last Saturday and I agree, it was awesome! We're more BSB fans than NKOTB, though, so if I go again, I think I need to brush up NKOTB's hits because the only one I knew was The Right Stuff. I was surprised at the risque-ness of the show, though! I guess they know their target audience has grown up. BTW, cute shoes! :)

  36. Hi, sounds like great fun! Where in Indiana did you rent this RV from?

    Thanks Laura

  37. Hey Sarah! I just popped over to Emily's Now and Then series, and I love that you said your family was your inspiration. I think that's why you are my favorite blogger - you make beautiful spaces, but you are so REAL, and that's absolutely wonderful. A home is definitely meant to be lived in, and I think you do a wonderful job of combining classy and comfortable. Keep up the good work!

  38. Love that you had a great time at the concert! Really love that you went on an RV trip! I hope it's the beginning of many RV adventures to come!

  39. I grew up just 45 mins. north of the Dells...many memories! Glad you had a great vacation! :)

  40. Looks like you had a really great time! They were here this past weekend in my hometown, Asheboro, NC. Didn't get to go though.. :(

  41. It looks like you had a blast! This is one trip that will be a memory forever. I enjoyed looking at the picture's.

  42. Sarah, I'm from the Dells!

    Growing up we had to convince people that yes, in fact, it is a functioning town! I even graduated from Wisconsin Dells High School. Small world. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to my hometown!

  43. Dear Sarah, following my admiration email to you;) I would like to let you know there is a certain blog award waiting for you from me, at :) Acceptance of the award is voluntary of course:)

  44. We love the Dells! We live about an hour southwest of there. We were at Mt Olympus three times in June- with free tickets the kids get through the soccer club here. I love to go to the Dells in the winter. If you ever go, I recommend staying at Glacier Canyon Lodge at The Wilderness Territory. Three great indoor parks! You also need to do the Duck Boat tour. The kids (and hubby and I) loved it.

  45. When we lived in Chicago we drove up to the Dells at least once a year. (My daughter's favorite place in the world!) I have to admit though, it took me foreva' to figure out what NKOTB meant. I'm such a dork. Or maybe not. HAha Glad to hear you had a fantastic trip!

  46. Great info! I just found you site on bing, definitely gonna check out your other entries.This page is precious, I totally loved it, I’ll be back for much more!

  47. Wow. A woman that loves her husband. That is so nice to hear. Unfortunately I am at the age where some of my friends are parting ways with their hubs for various reasons. And vise versa.
    I wish people could remember why they fell in love in the first place and salvage that instead of falling prey to a Facebook romance or worse.
    Your beautiful words have made me realize that I need to appreciate my not perfect but hard working and loving guy today and everyday.
    Have a great week Sarah!

  48. Wow, I thought the Dells were Wisconsin's best kept secret. I had no idea so many people came from out of state. Glad you guys enjoyed your vacation! NKOTB was my first concert, 8th grade, LOL!

  49. I went to NKOTBSB concert in MN and it was AMAZING!!!!! And I must ask as a girl did you make it to the outlet mall behind Buffalo Phil's in the Dells?? I have to hit that mall like 3 times a year the sales are usually great!! Glad you had fun and I love this blog!!!!!

  50. I saw the NKOTBSB concert in Seattle a few weeks ago too:) Loved it, had a ton of fun but I have to be honest and wished it was just NKOTB and no BSB;)

    The RV trip sounded fun! We just got back from a (tent) camping and crabbing trip. It is a lot of fun but a LOT of work too (especially with 3 kids). Now off to do loads and loads (and loads) of laundry).

  51. Me and my BFF went to NKOTBSB in Houston on 06/25/11. I had never been to a NK's concert, because my mom wouldn't buy me tickets when I was a kid. Oh.Em.Gee...for Christmas, she got me front row tickets! FRONT ROW!! And let me tell you, it was amazing! AMAZING! Jordan freaking Knight jumped up in the rail in front of us while singing "Tonight"!!! I gave him a high-five and screamed that I love him...twice. It was totally unbelievable. When he moved down the rail a bit, it finally occurred to me to have my bestie take a pic. Of course, I've never taken a worse picture in my life. (Figures.) But still, I have a pic. :)
    Ahhhhh, my heart is racing just thinking about it. :)

  52. Hey!!! You live in Indiana?! Me, too!!! I think we need to have a Midwest Blogger meet-up! Or do you already know of some? =) Love your home and ideas!


  53. Hey!!! You live in Indiana?! Me, too!!! I think we need to have a Midwest Blogger meet-up! Or do you already know of some? =) Love your home and ideas!


  54. Rving is the only way we travel for vacation. We have a 5th wheel that will sleep up to 10 so plenty of room for friends and family.
    It's so much FUN!
    Glad you loved it.



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